Former bowling alley collapses

CALUMET – A building in downtown Calumet, which the owner intended to preserve as part of the history of the village, partially collapsed Sunday afternoon, but there were no injuries reported.

The back wall of the Sacs Building at 315 Fifth St. fell about 3:15 p.m., according to owner Jim Flood.

Flood said the building – which was constructed in 1902 – had some structural problems. The building was vacant for 30 years before he bought it and the ceiling failed at some point.

“Portions caved in last year,” he said. “We’ve been monitoring it since then.”

Last week, Flood said, the back wall started bowing outward, so the village blocked off the alley behind it to keep people away from the building.

“Three days later, (the wall) came down,” he said.

Flood said he bought the building in 2005. Buying and renovating historic buildings is his business.

“The intent is to preserve as much historic fabric as possible,” he said.

Over the years, Flood said the building contained a bowling alley and a pool hall.

Very quickly after the wall fell, Flood said, a building inspector, police and village representatives came to the site to determine what should be done.

“Everybody showed up,” he said. “I was just impressed with the response.”

The building has been completely empty for a while, Flood said. He gutted it and hauled out about 70 tons of debris, and had all the asbestos and lead removed.

Flood said the plan now is to take down the second floor and preserve as much of the first floor as possible with the goal of eventually getting a business in the building.