Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

June 2, 2014

Column collapse causes closures

TRAVERSE CITY — The cause of a catastrophic collapse of a support column in a popular downtown eatery remains a mystery to area officials who await a review by national experts.

The Red Ginger restaurant on Front Street was full May 30 with a banquet for about 25 people on the second floor when the column began to crumble. The partial collapse left a two-foot gap in the column and the second and third floors sagging by as much as eight inches.

“We were just extremely grateful the whole ceiling and beam that went into that brick column didn’t fall into the main dining room or the people above didn’t fall into the dining room,” said Pam Marsh, Red Ginger co-owner.

A team of structural engineering investigators from the owner’s insurance company were to begin an assessment of the building either late Sunday or today, said Thom Darga, whose construction management firm manages the building for Pam and Dan Marsh. Darga said there is a lot of rumor and speculation but no one has drawn any conclusions.

“These are old buildings and they’ve gone through a lot of renovations,” Darga said. “To say it was one thing or another would be folly until it goes through a scientific analysis. This type of collapse is going to take some time to investigate.”

Darga said it was a miracle no one was injured in the incident.

Both Marsh and city Fire Chief Jim Tuller credited the Red Ginger staff.

“My commendation goes to the staff of the Red Ginger for their ability to get everybody out of the building in a quick and orderly manner,” Tuller said. “The staff were the heroes on this one.”

The State Theatre and Horizon Books share a common wall with Red Ginger and both were evacuated Friday and closed until further notice. State Theatre officials moved some films from the State to the Bijou by the Bay but for now they are just taking it day by day, said Deb Lake, executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival which owns the theater.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl