Structures in downtown Cleburne could be examined after historic building wall collapsed



A collapsed wall of a historic building in Johnson County has raised concerns about the stability and safety of the structure.

The mayor of Cleburne has requested a review to examine the surrounding structures in the city’s downtown core, where buildings date back to the 1800s are located.

A fire marshal last Wednesday made the discovery on the downtown building to N. Caddo and E. Chambers.

“He noticed a bulge at the bottom of the wall,” said Chief Scott Lail, Cleburne FD.

The back wall of a building constructed in the late 1800s was in obvious distress, officials said. The city barricaded the area and TxDOT closed a traffic lane.

“Between the close of business Thursday evening and 8 am Friday morning, the first section of the back wall collapsed,” Lail said.

This was only the beginning of the problems, however.

“During Friday night and early Saturday morning two more collapses occurred that were a bit higher each time on the wall,” Lail said.

By this time, the city’s emergency reduction was in full swing. The business, a bridal boutique, moved its inventory and moved. Some have thought about what’s going on in South Florida – the fatal condominium collapse.

“I think the problem that happened in Florida raised our awareness and made us hypersensitive to the possibility of a bigger collapse,” Lail said.

Longtime resident Wilma Reed remembers one of the location’s first retailers.

“In this store, I remember buying little glass dolls, porcelain dolls, about 6 inches tall,” Reed said.

She hopes that history can be preserved, but above all she is concerned about the safety of all.

“Scary, first of all. Luckily no one was hurt inside or outside the building,” Reed said.


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