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Murphysboro's Gillenberg building to come down at the end of the month

Murphysboro's Gillenberg building to come down at the end of the month

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MURPHYSBORO — Demolition will begin at the end of the month on the old Gillenberg building in Murphysboro after a July storm collapsed part of the roof.

Joe Summers manages the property for his mother, Shirley Summers, and told The Southern that crews were expected to begin tearing the building down between Feb. 24 and 25.

This should make frequent visitors to the Jackson County Courthouse happy. Since the storm that damaged the building in July, portions of 10th and Chestnut streets have been closed, congesting traffic and limiting parking around the courthouse, one of the busiest buildings in town.

The primary delay in tearing the Gillenberg building down came because it directly abuts portions of the county-owned Craine building, which still houses the public defender’s office. There was concern that the demolition of the Gillenberg building could have damaged the county’s property.

In January, the Craine building was being inspected in order to have an accurate picture of the building’s condition should there need to be an insurance claim for damage with the teardown of the Gillenberg building.

In January, Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens indicated the process had gone on for too long. “I think the time for careful consideration has passed,” he said then.

Storm causes partial roof collapse of historic building in Murphysboro; no injuries reported

However, he was happy to learn that the building would likely be coming down at the end of the month.

"I think we all could have communicated better in the early stages of the process. Other than that, I am pleased that the situation will soon be resolved," Stephens sent in a written message Thursday.

The demolition appears to be on track for Summer’s projections last month. On Jan. 8, he said he hoped the demolition process would begin about a month later. When a reporter from The Southern called him Thursday for an update, Summers was short on details, but thankful there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’m just ready for it to come down,” he said.

Summers was unsure how long the project would last.

isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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