And it’s down… Gravity beats plans to demo Leaning Tower of Fairview

A county-level effort to press for the removal of a leaning wooden structure along Fairview Drive was made irrelevant on Monday night, when the dilapidated building finally hit the ground.

On Thursday, May 27 this crumpling wood building along Fairview Drive in Berkeley Springs was still mostly upright.

On Tuesday, June 1, part of the building’s roof was on the pavement of Fairview Drive.

New owners of the property had told county officials they intended to take the building down, but gravity kicked in before that could happen.

Members of the Morgan County’s Unsafe Structure and Property Enforcement Agency board had already sent three letters requesting the owners of the two-story wooden building take it down before it fell into the roadway.

The building stands across Fairview Drive from the entrance to War Memorial Hospital.

On Tuesday morning, the roof structure was partially in the roadway on Fairview Drive.

Division of Highways Supervisor Rodney Crowell said road crews would push any portion of the structure off the state road, but it is the property owner’s responsibility to clean up anything on their land.

County Commissioner Joel Tuttle late last week said the Unsafe Structures board was preparing to ask commissioners to step into the process of declaring the building to be unsafe, but he was told a new property owner had agreed to take the structure down.

Community members have been watching the condition of the wooden building deteriorate for years, and share updates about its status on social media.

On Tuesday morning, highway crews had only just been alerted to the building’s collapse. Vehicles passing on Fairview Drive were swinging wide to avoid the small portion of the roof laying on the pavement.