The renovation of a historic downtown building in Mineola has come to an abrupt halt as it appears the condition of the structure leaves no choice other than it to be demolished.
Tricia Carver is the owner of the 1888 Building at the corner of Johnson and Commerce Streets. For the last couple of months Carver has had crews working on the interior of the historic building in preparation of a restaurant, the 1888 Pub & Café, she intended to open in the building. But, problems were surfacing and on Halloween day an architect with the Texas Historical Commission surveyed the property and confirmed what was suspected, the building was crumbling.
In a letter to Mineola Main Street Manager Holly Herring, the state commission stated that, “It appears that there is damage stemming from water infiltration at the roof over an extended period of neglect all the way through the walls to the foundation, which has caused dangerous degradation to a large percentage of bricks in all withes of the interior and exterior walls.” Mineola Community Development Director Holly Herring said basically the building is crumbling.
A special called meeting of the Mineola Landmark Commission was held on Thursday during which there was a lengthy discussion between members of the commission, Carver and Herring over the findings from the state commission. Additionally, the THC architect noted that demolition of the building will not affect any individual state or local historic designations. While the building is a contributing structure to Mineola being listed in the National Register of Historic Places District, its demolition will not trigger any delisting from the district.
The matter was to be heard by the Mineola City Council during a special meeting Monday after Monitor press time who will consider a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed demolition.
“We are sad that it has come to the point of having to demolish the building, but must do so for the safety of the public. However we are excited to have property owners who want to do the right thing in building a structure that is safe, and bring in a new and fun business to the spot,” said Herring. The owner has already submitted plans for a new structure that will be built similar to the old building, including a wrap around second floor balcony.
The motion that the city council was to consider Monday evening includes that, “The certificate will include that proper shoring and demolition phasing would be designed to insure safety to the adjacent tenants and public. After the demolition a replica building” using updated materials and construction will be built. The community development director noted that the 1888 Building is a separate structure from the surrounding buildings.
Herring said that while the owners were hoping for a January opening of their restaurant, they are now aiming to have the replica building up by March.