Crew demolishes Washington Motel in Ravenswood
Owner had hoped to salvage building after fire
RAVENSWOOD — The Washington Motel in Ravenswood was demolished this week after a devastating fire and code violations.
The motel, situated behind Walgreens in Ravenswood, has been used as apartments in recent years and sustained a fire in March which caused the building to be deemed a total loss, according to Danny Mitchell, code enforcement officer for Ravenswood.
After the fire, the City of Ravenswood wanted to immediately tear down the building but the current owner tried to save the structure. Mitchell said several violations against the building were filed against the nuisance code.
According to the City of Ravenswood’s nuisance code, it is prohibited to leave “putrid and other waste matter in exposed places,” and that it is the “duty of owners and occupants of premises to abate nuisances,” as outlined in the city code on the City of Ravenswood website.
Under the code, if the owner does not take care of the nuisance within a certain amount of time, they are fined.
The owner, according to Mitchell, was given the chance to tear down the property herself but she did not. She appealed the demolition and a city judge ruled the building to be torn down.
From that point, she had a 30-day window to appeal a second time to Circuit Court but she failed to do so, Mitchell said.
“We just followed our protocols and as the code dictates, we can’t vary from the code,” Mitchell said.
The demolition began Tuesday afternoon and the property is expected to be cleaned up by the end of the week, according to Ravenswood officials. The city paid for the demolition but the piece of property itself is still in the name of the current owner.
Candice Black can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.