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Posted on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 5:30 p.m.

Thompson Block supports removed from River Street in Ypsilanti

By Tom Perkins

081510_Thompson Block_MRM_01.jpg

Scaffolding supports the Thompson Block building in Ypsilanti.

Melanie Maxwell |

Supports propping up the west wall of the Thompson Block building have been removed from River Street in Ypsilanti.

Developer Stewart Beal, whose Historic Equities Fund 1 LLC owns the structure, said his employees started working to remove the supports this morning and completed the project within eight hours.

“It took six months of politicking and eight hours of manpower,” Beal said.

Beal and the city remain in court-ordered facilitation over how to proceed with renovating the building.

Shoring still remains in the north lane of Cross Street. Beal received a right-of-way permit allowing a support structure to remain there until April 2011. Supports also still block the sidewalk on River Street.

Beal said additional supports have been added to compensate for those removed. He said his engineers have determined there is adequate support to keep the wall from falling and will next analyze the structure as a whole to ensure nothing changed during work on the west wall.

Ypsilanti Department of Public Services Director Stan Kirton said he will determine whether traffic will be able to make a left from southbound River Street onto eastbound Cross Street. He said he is unsure that there is a safe amount of room because the northbound lane remains closed.



Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 4:10 p.m.

I'm glad to see any progress on this project. I'm also glad that the owner is making an attempt to preserve such a historic structure. It still stands to be seen whether the building will actually be restored, but as of now it has a chance. Those who cry about the building being an eyesore can all prepare to eat crow if the vision of reconstructing this building succeeds.


Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

It looks identical to how it looked before any of the "changes" were made. Just drove by it again this morning. Same as it ever was.


Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 11:13 a.m.

I wonder what it looks like, today. Is the scaffolding gone? A picture would be nice.


Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 8:08 a.m.

This appears to prove that Beal could have complied with city council's requests long before council had to sue him over this. I hope city council is able to get attorney fees and costs from him over this entire fiasco, because this fix raises the question of whether Beal delayed the fix purely out of spite.

T. Kinks

Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 7:39 a.m.

This building has been an eyesore my whole life. I say knock it down once & for all. Terry Heiss Carpentry

Jimmy McNulty

Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 7:23 a.m.

If past performance is an indication of future progress, expect little or nothing to be done to this building until his "permit" expires or other legal trouble ensues. I would like to know if there is insurance on this building, as it was UN-insured when the fire happened. Good question..............

Steve Pepple

Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 6:01 a.m.

A grammatical error has been fixed.


Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 5:53 a.m.

Would you mind making the subject and verb agree in the first paragraph? By the way, as far as I'm concerned it was Beal who did all of the "politicking" in this affair.

Dark Dichotomy

Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 11:53 p.m.

Don't worry everyone, the article says that there is adequate support to keep the wall from fallin. Of course I would feel better if the support would keep the wall from falling, since I am not really sure what the the definition of fallin is. (P.S. Ann and Tom Perkins - It's called spell check, it might even make these stories seem like they were written by professional journalists.)


Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 8:09 p.m.

can you say "parking lot?"


Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 7:06 p.m.

Shadow Manager, I observed the same thing. It looks as hideous as ever. I just hope and pray that wall does not fall on anyone.


Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 6:18 p.m.

And that, my friends, is the sum total of work that will be done on the structure for the next six months. About par for the course for Mr. Beal's productive and fast-paced rehabilitation of the Thompson Block. Yes, sarcasm. By the way, I drove past it this morning, and visually, there is no change. There's still a lane closed off on River, and another on Cross St.


Wed, Aug 25, 2010 : 6 p.m.

So, now what happens? It falls down?