Emergency demolition ordered for Roos
By JEAN LOTUS
The Village of Forest Park issued an emergency demolition order for the Roos property, 7329 Harrison St., June 28. According to the order, the Park District of Forest Park must take immediate action or face fines.
“This order is prompted by the partial collapse of the roof on 27 June 2103 and the continued structural instability due to the building’s abandonment,” said the order, signed by Building Department Director Steve Glinke.
Parks Director Larry Piekarz said the order just speeds up the demolition process the park board voted on in May.
“We’ll be going out, getting quotes and contacting demolition companies,” Piekarz said.
The park district has hired structural architect Jerry Aulisio of the AT Group in Park Ridge to oversee the demolition process. According to the company website, Aulisio helped to design and construct the park district facility in Glenview.
On June 27, around 6 p.m., a quick storm blew through Forest Park, and a section of the north wall of the Roos Building collapsed. As a portion of the roof fell in, one of the yellow pine support beams gashed through the wall, buckling a chunk of brick façade and wall, which crashed to the ground below.
As the storm cleared, pedestrians stopped and shot pictures with their phones as water dripped into the third floor from the roof.
Around 7:30 p.m., Piekarz toured the building with Village Manager Tim Gillian, Fire Chief Steve Glinke and Deputy Fire Chief Robert McDermott.
“We took a look at the roof where it collapsed from the third floor,” said Gillian Thursday. “The damage seems to be isolated at this point, but it’s definitely a warning sign.”
The condition of the building’s north wall had been noted at the May park board meeting by Commissioner Eric Entler as particularly unstable. Entler observed that graffiti taggers had leaned over the north wall from the roof to spray paint the building’s side.
“How long before the wall’s going to collapse, the kid’s going to fall and we’ll have a death on our hands?” he asked the board in May.
Piekarz said Friday he’d be working to determine “the scope of what needs to be done” to put the demolition out for an accurate bid.
“I’ll be spending a lot of time over at the Roos Building. It’s definitely gotten worse. Am I getting a little nervous walking through there? Yes I am,” he said.