When two facades crumbled to the streets of downtown Cleveland in 2015, city council began working on a law that would help prevent these dangerous incidents from reoccurring, before it was too late.
In April and again in December, we saw aging materials fall to the streets from two different downtown buildings. Fortunately there were no injuries, but these incidents put a plan in motion to keep pedestrians in our city safe.
Now, just over a year since the parapet wall of the Garfield Building began falling to the sidewalk, Cleveland will join Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York with an official facade-inspection requirement.
Buildings in Cleveland that boast significant height or age, at least five stories tall or 30 years old, will be required to hire a qualified engineer every 5 years to inspect the building's durability and safety. These guidelines especially apply to structures that are within close proximity of public land, busy streets, or other buildings.
Owners that already care for these establishments are now on a time limit for securing a sufficient inspection report. If you own or manage a building more than 30 years old, you have two years to get your property up to code before you start facing potential fines. If your building is over 50 years old, you have only one year to complete and file your inspection. However, reports from recent inspections can also be filed with the city to satisfy this new legislation.
With our city undertaking such a radiant resurgence, it is more important than ever to protect the historic buildings that call Cleveland home.