Pearl Street sidewalk closed
By Scott Bellile
A piece of sheet metal and some brickwork fell two stories from the upper southeast corner of the 209/211 S. Pearl St. building onto the sidewalk below.
The material dropped sometime Sunday, Aug. 6, according to city Building Inspector Paul Hanlon.
Hanlon said the city will reopen the stretch of sidewalk along the corner when it determines it is safe to let people walk there. The sidewalk remained closed as of Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“It’ll probably take a little time,” he said.
Hanlon said he needs to investigate the situation and talk with the building owner to determine a plan for repairs. He said it was too early to say what the incident means for the structure.
“I don’t think there’s going to be anything real exciting on it” or newsworthy, Hanlon said.
The building is located at the corner of South Pearl Street and Wolf River Avenue in downtown New London. It is home to John’s Bar and St John’s Christian Food Pantry.
Those businesses remain open.
When bricks began to fall from the former Wolf River Theatrical Troupe building at 225 W. North Water St. in December 2014, owner Fidelity Direct Leasing decided the deteriorating exterior was one of too many problems the 122-year-old structure had going on to justify repairing it. The building was razed the following June.
In contrast, when the Easy Street Bar& Grill building, 519 W. North Water St., had its north wall collapse in 2013, its owner opted to perform extensive repairs to restore the exterior. The bar continues to operate there.
The material holding up the 209/211 S. Pearl St. building is nearly 130 years old.
The structure was built in 1890 by John Schantz, who also built a hotel across the street where the city’s post office stands today, according to New London Public Museum Director Christine Cross. The building was the first opera house in New London.