July 27, 2018
Kieran Delamont, Ottawa Citizen
The city is moving quickly to deal with the Magee House, which was missing the better part of its west-facing wall, by knocking part of the building down.
Since the wall collapsed Tuesday, engineers have been puzzling about what to do with the parts of the building that remain standing. The building had been standing on its own for the time being, but since the precise cause of the collapse hadn’t been determined, the integrity of the building was viewed with skepticism.
On Friday, the call was made to demolish at least part of the historic Hintonburg building. According to the city, the plan was to remove the southwest corner and some of the roof as a first step, and on Friday evening heavy machinery was seen at work on the site.
“After workers remove those portions that pose a public safety risk, the city will have experts conduct a further analysis on the remainder of the building,” the city said in a media release.
Magee House is a heritage-protected building. Extraordinary circumstances call for flexible solutions, though. “Because the structure poses a significant public hazard,” said city officials, “the Chief Building Official, acting in the interest of public safety, issued the emergency order to demolish, meaning no heritage permit is required.”