City wants to tear down to build up

Local News

HOOPESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Time and time again over the past few months, buildings have been crumbling in many Central Illinois towns.

Tuesday night, the city council approved the demolition of two buildings. They say they don’t want to stop there.

A quick tour around downtown and you’ll see several structures which need help. But, people are seeing the positives.

“They’re over 100-years old. If you look at it from an angle, you can see it’s kind of concave there.”

Mike Bane says the city roped off a sidewalk for fear the building next to it might fall.

“If this building is shifting and collapsing and sinking, it can very easily get into the street.”

He’s been working with the city to do this for more than a year, and it’s not the only one he has his eye on.

“That’s the one where the roof’s gone and we need to tear down.”

There are five more buildings they’d like to demolish, if only they could pay for it.

“It takes money. We understand that and we’re struggling, but one step in front of the other.”

Robin Lawson and her family own three businesses downtown. She says it’s a good thing the city is getting rid of dilapidated buildings. It shows people are ready for something new.

“I see the town moving forward. We want nothing more than to see the town grow.”

Even if the structures are coming down in pieces.

“Every bit of that area is brick with no mortar there.”

Tearing them down will only help build the city back up. Once the buildings are torn down, the owner still controls the property, but Bane says the city is planning on taking the owner to court to recover the money for the demolition.

Hoopeston is not the only town with crumbling buildings. Arcola has half a building falling down, Rantoul has a business shop which is falling apart and a sidewalk in Monticello has been roped off for fear the building could collapse.

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