Posted by Terry Alexander - email
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A report ordered by the City of Richmond after two limestone panels fell from the John Marshall Hotel in December indicates there are dozens of similar panels in danger of falling.
The inspection report says engineers found deficiencies with 37 limestone panels on the building's facade. The loose pieces of stone are scattered on all four sides of the building and engineers say they need immediate attention.
Roy Eidem, Richmond's Code Enforcement Operations Manager, says engineers found loose panels, rusted steel rivets and cracks where water had seeped into the old building.
Engineers say even the steel fasteners on the building's famous sign need further investigation.
Crews hired by the building's owner spent Thursday battling the wind to bolt the loose stones into place.
Developers met with the city Thursday about the future of the John Marshall Hotel. Plans will be submitted this year to turn the structure into upscale apartments and a banquet room.
City leaders say one lane of 5th Street, where panels fell in December, will remain closed until all of the loose panels are secured.