Building Partially Collapses On North National Avenue

The front side of the Eagle Block Building on North National Avenue on July 21, 2021. Submitted photos.

A part of the Eagle Block Building on North National Avenue has collapsed, and demolition will happen soon.

“It was approved to demo Eagle Block,” Fort Scott Mayor Josh Jones said.  “Work could begin as early as today.”

Fort Scott City Manager Jeremy Frazier was told that it would take two days to mobilize all equipment and to begin the demolition, he said. “By my understanding that would mean that the demolition would start either on Saturday or Sunday.”

American Wrecking Services LLC was approved to demolish the Eagle Block building for a cost to the city of $148,500, following the special Fort Scott City Commission Meeting last evening, July 21.

To view an aerial video of the buildings:

A nearby building owned by CDL Electric, 14 North National Avenue will need to be removed according to a letter sent to the City of Fort Scott by Earles Engineering and Inspection.

Sharkey’s Pub and Grubb, 16 N. National, can be saved by supporting the south wall and removing a low protective wall along the edge of the roof, according to the letter.

To view the letter: City of Fort Scott Main Street Building Collapse Report(2)

“After review, it was concluded that the bar (Sharkey’s) could be saved by supporting its south wall and removing the upper parapet,” Earles said in the letter to the city. “The CDL building would need to be removed.”

“The saved wall would need to be repaired, tuck pointed, sealed and a cap put over it as part of the reworked roof of the bar,” he said.

“The south wall of the structure could be saved below the upper windows,” Earles said.  “The building on the south is built between the failed structure and the current radio station. Its roof needs attention but can be saved if the adjoining wall to its north can be salvaged. This wall will need to be supported as repairs are made to it, including brick repair, tuckpointing, and sealing.”

This photo from behind the Eagle Block Building, facing west, was taken on July 21, 2021. Submitted photos.

On Friday, July 16, Earles, a civil and structural engineer and CEO for Earles Engineering & Inspection, Inc., went to the site of what is known as the Eagle Block Building, at 10-12 N. National Avenue and reviewed the condition of the building with Fort Scott City Staff.

“There are four separate yet combined buildings,” Earles said in a letter to the city. “It appears that all the walls are partly or shared walls,” Earles said. “The roof and partial wall collapse happened on the three-story middle building. This roof collapse caused both sidewalls to move and partially collapse. Additionally, it caused the front of the structure to move, creating a bowed front of the building and numerous cracks in the bricks. Additionally, I was informed that what appears as white stone… was covering for previous wire strands stretched through the building and anchored in the front and rear walls to stabilize the building. These are now broken or under the piles of debris, causing additional destabilization of the structure.”

The collapsed roof of the Eagle Block Building on July 21, 2021. The pile of bricks is around the hole on the roof that isn’t collapsed is on the roof of CDL. It appears that bricks fell from the collapsing building and landed on CDLs roof and put a hole through it. Submitted photos.

“The north wall partially collapsed onto and through the roof of the CDL building to the north collapsing its roof,” Earles said. “The next north building is a bar. It suffered no damage. We were able to get onto the bar roof and look south over the CDL building and the collapsed structure further south.”

“The portion of the roof of the three-story structure is unstable and could finish the collapse at any time,” Earles said. “The upper story from the bottom of the top windows to the roof is all leaning in and could collapse at any time. The building appears to be a total loss as well as the CDL building.”

“There is a basement under all three buildings,” Earles said.  “The hope of the city is to save as much of the structures as possible.”

On Saturday, July 17, 2021, Earles and city staff met with Carl Britz, American Wrecking Services, LLC, and went through the structures.

“We were able to go into the basement of the CDL building and
the  (Sharkey’s Pub)bar,” said Earles in the letter to the city.  “The CDL basement showed stone and brick that had lost most of its mortar and was in very poor condition both north and south walls. The bar basement showed the mortar had mostly all been repaired and the wall looked in good condition.”

To view a 2019 engineers report on the Eagle Block Building:

AG Engineering Structural Review – Eagle Block(1)


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