DeKALB – The collapsed portion of the Wurlitzer Company building in DeKalb crumbled again last weekend.
Jade Peterson, account manager for building owner Rose Joint Venture, said the most recent crumble, which likely happened Sunday, was related to the same issue that caused the building to collapse May 20. City officials thought strong winds might have caused the initial collapse.
The May collapse started on the third floor, and officials said some of the damage went all the way to the first floor. No one was injured in either incident, and no one was in that portion of the building when the damage occurred.
City officials said in May that the damaged portion of the building would likely be demolished. That portion was condemned shortly after the collapse.
Peterson has said there are about five businesses in the entire building, which is just more than 300,000 square feet.
Portions of the building date back to the 1800s; the newest sections were added in the 1960s.
Peterson said no tenants are housed in the damaged portion of the building.
However, two tenants who are housed near the wreckage had to be relocated, including Cliff Alexis.
Alexis, a steel drum builder and tuner who co-directs the Northern Illinois University Steel Band, has rented 2,100 square feet of space in the building for about the past decade.
However, tenant Dale Ludewig, whose rented space is far from the crumbled portion, is staying put. He custom-builds furniture and does repairs to mandolins and guitars in his 4,000 square feet of space. He said he feels “absolutely” safe in his section of the building.
“This section of the building was built in the 1960s,” he said earlier this month. “It’s all steel and concrete. It’s really nice.”
Lou Larson, DeKalb building supervisor, replaced the temporary snow fence around the damaged area with more secure construction fence last week to protect pedestrians and deter trespassers.
Peterson said he’s not able to comment on future plans for the building because the owners are still working with the insurance company.
“What I can tell you is that you’ll see some more fencing and security measures to secure the property,” he said.
• Curtis Clegg contributed to this report.