• It’s final: Brokaw Hall coming down

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    It didn’t make anyone happy. After spending more than two hours wrestling with the City’s budget for the next year, the Pacific Grove City Council voted unanimously to accept the fact that Brokaw Hall, the delapidated building in the Butterfly Sanctuary, must be torn down.
    The building had been left to decay for more than 10 years, almost as long as it has been on the historic inventory. The City’s building official, John Kuehl, condemned the building on March 29 and gave the city 30 days to demolish it. An emergency fence was constructed around the building to prevent members of the public from entering.
    At the April 20 City Council meeting, it was agreed that the building should come down, but that the City would request a 30-day extension so that proper Requests for Proposals could go out for asbestos abatement, should it be required, as well as demolition. “It can’t be done within 30 days,” said City Manager Tom Frutchey.
    Even Steve Honneger, speaking for the Heritage Society, said the group had no official advice. He said that speaking personally, it is not possible to save it. “Everybody is to blame,” he said – the City, the City Council and the Heritage Society itself.
    Stuart Weiss, the scientist contracted to set up plans for the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, said in a report that the Sanctuary would actually benefit because the “nectar sector” (a garden of nectar flowers to feedo the butterflies)can go where the building was and it would be more beneficial.
    Frutchey assured the Council and the public that staff would undertake a study of the rest of the City’s inventory to prevent such “demolition by neglect” from happening again. There’s a possibility, he said, that they can preserve the windows, doors, and chimney/fireplaces and perhaps replicate the building elsewhere.
    Senior Planner Dee Van Donselaar also assured those present that no EIR or CEQA report was needed because of the emergency nature of the demolition.

    Please refer to our April 1, 2011 issue for the original breaking story.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 20, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News

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