MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — A half-block on the corner of Market and Washington is closed as a precautionary measure to keep people safe from a crumbling building.
This block of history has seen better days.
“I would love to see these buildings fixed up. There’s a point, right now, where they’re not rentable which means we have a lot of vacancies on this block in Monticello which used to be the retail block. So, it breaks my heart to see these buildings, slowly but surely, falling down.”
The most noticeable problem is where a structural engineering firm warned the west wall of this building could collapse.
“I’ve seen that building degrade over the last several years. The cracks were small and now they’re bigger and now, stuff is coming out so yeah, it’s a safety hazard right now.”
Glickman’s family has owned several buildings on this side of the block for more than 40-years. Unfortunately, several of them have been empty for awhile.
“I would like to see it refurbished and filled with a business. I’d like to see the whole block thriving and every building filled with a business that is thriving and working.”
It’s why the city has come up with a new street scape plan. Leaders want to add flowers and make the place more inviting. To do that, they need to make the sidewalks ADA-compliant.
“The city is thinking about widening the sidewalks and making our sidewalk wheelchair accessible.”
The construction would be on the north side, but Downey has one problem.
“My concern, of course, is they’re eliminating all the parking on this side of the street, so maybe it makes it handicap-accessible, but now a lot of my customers will have to park somewhere else to get here.”
What business owners can agree is being happy the city is paying attention. They hope more businesses come to this side of town.
City officials say they scheduled a phone conversation with the owners for next week to see what can be done with the building. They could not be reached for comment.