Safety concerns top priority for restoring Bresee Tower
DANVILLE, Ill. (WCCU) —
For years the Danville Mayor said pieces of terracotta have been falling off the Bresee Tower, which is why they put up a pedestrian cover.
With a new non-profit taking ownership, he's demanding this public safety concern issue be the first thing they address.
"We want them to address the exterior of the building immediately and that means either taking down the terracotta, replacing the terracotta,” Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said.
The Bresee Tower in Danville was built in the 1800s and has sat vacant since around 2005. Since then, nothing has been done to fix the deteriorating exterior that has fallen off in pieces.
The previous owners donated the building to Historic Restorations, an Alabama based non-profit.
"There's too much history and architectural significance to let this building suffer any longer,” said new owner Scottie Porter.
Porter knows the first priority is the exterior and said harsh weather over the years has made it crack and chip off.
"When that water seeps inside the wall it freezes, and of course it expands and contracts during that process,” Porter said. “When it thaws in many cases, begins to thaw, the surface of that terracotta will pop off."
Porter is in the process of getting estimates on fixing the terracotta, which he thinks will cost between $1-2 million. He plans to solicit donations for the project from mailers his company sends out for projects like this.
"Whatever funds they have available to them, or whatever funds they're able to generate, has to go into securing the public and making sure that they are safe from any debris falling from the property,” Eisenhauer said.