DANVILLE — The Collins Tower building has dominated the downtown Danville skyline for decades, but if city officials had their way, it would be long gone — a victim of deterioration and age.
A Sprint cellphone antenna is the only useful part of the building, which is also used to hold TV and radio antennas, Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said.
The building has long since outlived its usefulness, and its crumbling facade poses a public hazard, but the city’s efforts to get its owners to renovate or demolish the structure have been a lengthy, costly endeavor.
Williams met two years ago with building owners Chris and Jeri Collins, and they indicated they would install safety netting to protect from falling material. They never did.
“We’ve exhausted all of the different options, I think,” Williams said.
Because of the building’s condition, one block of Main Street and the sidewalk in front building have been closed to prevent injury to pedestrians and vehicle damage from falling debris.
Built in 1918, the 12-story building initially housed a bank, Williams said.
He said he planned to meet with the city’s attorneys to determine what action the city should take.
“We don’t really have multiple options,” he said. “We have to gain control over it to demolish it or have it condemned.”
An engineer’s inspection of the building found evidence of mortar failure, corrosion of metal anchors and fracturing of terracotta blocks.