PLATTSMOUTH, NE – A historic downtown building destroyed by fire got the green light for tear down Monday. The Plattsmouth Preservation Board approved the application for the structure located within the historic district.
Fire gutted the building, known as the Waterman Building, in January. One of the building’s owners, Lee Larsen filed a request to demolish it last month. Because it sits in a historic preservation district, a city preservation board needed to approve the request.
The Board put off a vote in March, saying it needed more time. About 30 people sat in on the demolition hearing Monday. No citizens testified in favor of saving the building. Lee Larsen, one of the owners, was among those advocating for demolition. The conversation between Larsen and some of the board members was heated, at times.
After about an hour of discussion, members approved the demolition request, with just one voting against it.
Larsen said he’d already bid out demolition, and expected contractors to do the job by summer. The streets around the building remained blocked off Monday because crumbling walls and falling debris from the burned out shell were deemed a danger to downtown customers.
Fire officials never determined a cause of the blaze. Larsen said they would investigate that during demolition.