Elliott Hotel stabilized


1880s structure partially collapsed Friday morning

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



A large hole in the south side of the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield, caused by a partial collapse of the structure early Friday morning, is visible in this photograph.

A large hole in the south side of the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield, caused by a partial collapse of the structure early Friday morning, is visible in this photograph.


Photo courtesy of Mark Branham

This photo shows the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield after two walls were taken down over the weekend.


Photo courtesy of Doug Karnes

The Elliott Hotel in Greenfield has been secured and no longer poses a threat to the public, owner Doug Karnes said Monday.

The more than 130-year-old structure partially collapsed Friday morning, leaving debris scattered over a sidewalk and portions of Mirabeau and Washington streets.

“The thing had been collapsing into itself ever since the last fire 10 years ago,” Karnes said. “This time the chimney came down, it was attached to an outside wall, and the wall blew through.”

That left a hole in the wall on the building’s south side, and aerial photos showed a massive hole in the building’s roof.

Karnes said the structure was not stable as it stood after the collapse, so over the weekend he had the walls facing Mirabeau and Washington streets taken down and pushed toward what formerly was the building’s lobby.

He said he now has two options — to tear the rest of the building down and start a new project from the ground up, or rebuild the corner that was taken down and restore the rest of the building.

“I can’t leave it like it is, but the rest of the building is stable now,” Karnes said. “It needs attention, and it needs it pretty rapidly, too.”

On Friday, Greenfield Safety and Service Director Todd Wilkin said that a wall blew out and bricks were scattered onto a sidewalk and a portion of the street.

The 200 block of Mirabeau Street and part of the 100 block of Washington Street were closed for safety reasons, according to Wilkin.

“The owner of the building, as well as a team of structural engineers and the building inspector, are on site to assess the situation and provide a remedy that will ensure the safety of the public and adjacent properties,” Wilkin said in a news release.

The Elliott Hotel opened in 1888, replacing the Harper House Hotel as “the premier hotel in Greenfield,” according to the Greenfield Historical Society.

The portion of the building that collapsed came down around 5:15 a.m. Friday due to a structural failure, according to Karnes.

Part of the building was considered structurally unstable at that time and was cordoned off.

Wilkin said the Greenfield Police Department led safety efforts at the site of the collapse.

City of Greenfield correspondent Angela Shepherd contributed to this story.

A large hole in the south side of the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield, caused by a partial collapse of the structure early Friday morning, is visible in this photograph.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/08/web1_Elliott-Hotel-pic-3.jpgA large hole in the south side of the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield, caused by a partial collapse of the structure early Friday morning, is visible in this photograph. Photo courtesy of Mark Branham

This photo shows the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield after two walls were taken down over the weekend.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/08/web1_Hotel-pic-2.jpgThis photo shows the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield after two walls were taken down over the weekend. Photo courtesy of Doug Karnes
1880s structure partially collapsed Friday morning

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com