Rebuilding a top priority for businesses one month after Christmas Day explosion

Mid-South

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been one month since a bomb went off on Christmas Day in Nashville. Rebuilding that area still remains a top priority.

Engineers are being careful with what happens next to those damaged buildings.

Seven buildings were significantly damaged in the bombing on Second Avenue and engineers are now weighing in on whether those structures can be restored.

“So, I’ve been up inside, seen all the floors, seen the roof, along with our engineer and it’s our opinion that every one of these buildings can be fully rehabilitated,” Metro Codes Director Bill Herbert said.

Unfortunately, while many see that as positive news, not all engineers seem to agree.

“The property owner of five of the buildings has hired a separate structural engineer who says that some of the buildings should be torn down,” said Historic Nashville Inc. President Elizabeth Elkins.

Elkins says preserving those historic structures is a huge focus for her and is something she believes makes the downtown corridor what it is.

“I think the challenge Historic Nashville right now is the intent of the property owner because he does have a good bit of legal right because it’s his property as well as ours and how that will work out is my biggest concern,” Elkins said.

Elkins said construction will take a group strategic effort since those buildings share walls.

“The buildings all have what’s called party walls so they’re all attached to each other. And it’s sort of a domino situation — they do rely on each other for strength,” Elkins said.

So, Metro Codes is doing everything it can to make it easy on property owners to get temporary structural fixes in before big repairs are made. Herbert said the stability of those buildings is the top priority at this point, and without it some could still be vulnerable to collapse.

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