TROY, Ohio (WDTN) — The controversy surrounding the historic courthouse and tavern on W. Main St. in Troy continues after a new report was released.

The City of Troy and the building’s owner, 116 West Main Street, LLC, have been in a legal battle for months, which stems from damage to the building caused by the January 2020 tornado. The sidewalk in front of the building has been blocked off since then.

The latest engineering report, released Friday, May 5, 2023, was conducted by Michael Wright, president of Safety Through Engineering, who was hired by the owner. His expert witness report concluded the building is a ‘significant safety threat,’ and ‘portions of the damaged building are in a dire state of potential collapse.’

The Miami County Building Official, Rob England, reviewed the findings of this new report, along with a third party, and once again declared the building ‘unsafe’ and a ‘serious hazard.’ He also ordered the owner to ‘abate all unsafe conditions immediately.’

The building was deemed a ‘serious hazard’ back in March 2023. The owner was given three options and two weeks to make the repairs, which included the option of removing all structures from the site. He started demolition and got through the back portion of the building, which is not considered to be part of the original, historic structure, before he was ordered to stop.

According to court documents, the owner did not have a demolition permit and the owners of the adjoining businesses were not made aware the demolition was going to happen. An injunction was filed and all parties involved have spent the last month trying to find a solution.

England lowered the building’s safety risk back in April 2023 after reviewing additional engineering reports.; however, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 England deemed the building a ‘serious hazard’ again following the review of the new report.

A representative for the owner released a statement Tuesday saying quote:

The time is now to protect the citizens of Troy by allowing the owner of the property to
eradicate the hazard by allowing it to demolish its own building on behalf of public safety

Jamie Greer, Attorney for building owner

On Thursday, May 11, 2023, the City, along with the owners of the adjoining buildings filed a notice of potential contractors for roof tarping, and their own engineer’s review of the new report. All parties will meet back in court on May 16, 2023 to discuss this notice and the building’s condition.

Members of the Troy Historic Perseveration Alliance hope the court will continue the ban on demolition. Board member, Martin Stewart, said they want the building to be saved.

“We want the adjudication order to go away. We want the judge’s current ban on demolition to stand. We want the city to enforce the code violations that are going on,” Stewart said.

Stewart said tearing down the building will negatively impact the historic district in Troy.

“This is what brings people downtown. This is why people come to Troy because of the architecture that’s been saved,” Stewart said.