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A historic building in Roslyn suffered catastrophic structural damage due to heavy snow loads, resulting in the demolition of part of the structure.

The former Harper Lumber building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Roslyn was heavily damaged in the event, which occurred on Wednesday. According to a press release from Roslyn Fire, the department was called to the site at approximately 11:30 a.m. in response to a report of a partial building collapse.

The release said the property is comprised of three storefronts, one of which partially collapsed due to the snow load.

“The property owner immediately dispatched an engineer and architect who had been working on plans to restore the buildings,” the release said. “A review by the engineer determined the building was beyond salvage and that in order to protect the adjacent buildings immediate demolition was required.”

Upon determining the need for demolition, an excavator from a local construction firm was used to take the building down. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on the same day, the release said a massive roof shed from the warehouse portion of the former lumber company came down, moving the wall shared by the adjacent bicycle shop approximately eight inches. According to the City of Roslyn Planning and Building Department required a structural evaluation of the building before it could be reoccupied. According to the department, the evaluation was completed, and those stores can now be reoccupied as of Friday.

According to a 2019 real estate listing for the property, the original building on the lot was built in 1895 and included two retail spaces that dated to 1925. The property was sold that year to longtime Roslyn property owner and developer John Brian Losh, who said the loss of the structure was heartbreaking. Losh said he intends on fully restoring the structure to its former glory.

“It’s a shame to have lost such an incredibly historic property,” he said of the incident.

OTHER CONCERNS IN THE CITY

On January 8, the Roslyn Fire release said crews were initiating their emergency snow removal and mitigation response reports when they began to receive calls regarding potential structural issues at Pennsylvania Place, a 30-unit apartment building in Roslyn.

“Roslyn Fire Chief Corrie Reagan inspected the building and found sufficient damage to warrant an evacuation of the building pending an assessment by a structural engineer,” the release said. “In addition to the structural damage concerns, almost all egress routes from the apartments were blocked by fallen snow.”

The release said a resident evacuation went smoothly with an activation of the Red Cross and that residents were transferred initially to the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum before being placed in various housing options.

The release said multiple agencies were involved in the effort, including Kittitas County Fire Districts 1, 3, 6, and 7, as well as the Cle Elum Fire Department, Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, Cle Elum Roslyn Police Department, Cle Elum Volunteer Fire Department, KVFR, Puget Sound Energy, the Kittitas County Fire Marshal, Cle Elum Roslyn School District, the Red Cross, AARF and HopeSource.

In addition to the structural issue at the apartment complex, the release said that as of Friday, the City of Roslyn has been notified that there is a possibility of damage at the Roslyn Theater. The release said the theater has been closed due to the pandemic and that the owners are working on assessing potential damage.

Reporting for the DR since March 2018. Lover of campfires, black labs and good vibes. Proud Humboldt State alum!