After the parapet fell from the roof and smashed into a car parked three stories below, the building at the corner of Missouri Avenue and Campbell Street looked as if it might continue to bend or break.
City officials ordered the building to be demolished beginning Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, pink bricks bowed at the center, where the third floor met the second. An upstairs balcony seemed to bulge out from the building.
No one was injured when the parapet crumbled into a white sedan parked on the street Wednesday morning, leaving a gaping hole in the building’s roof.
Kansas City fire officials initially allowed the onlookers who gathered at the building that partially collapsed just after 9 a.m. to remain on the same block. But soon they pushed neighbors back in case the building continued to collapse, and they started to examine adjacent structures.
City officials declared the building an emergency Wednesday afternoon because of the immediate threat of a further collapse and said the building should be torn down immediately.
The city had planned to let the owner stabilize the building, said Chris Hernandez, a spokesman for the city. But a structural engineer reported the building was on the verge of collapsing because of wet rot deterioration of floors and disjointed masonry.
The city sent out bids to contractors Wednesday afternoon to start the demolition work Thursday morning.
Years ago, the second and third floors of the mixed-use building on Campbell Street were leased out as apartments, officials and neighbors said. But the building has been long unoccupied, except for a gift shop called Thanh Tung and a Farmers Insurance office on the ground level.
“At this point we consider it highly dangerous,” Battalion Chief James Garrett said Wednesday morning. “There’s a very distinct bow in this building right now, and something has to be done about it.”
By afternoon, the city announced it would remove the third floor and front of the structure and add the 100-year-old building to the city’s dangerous list.
“It appears the roof is the only thing holding it up right now,” Garrett said.
Fire officials can’t say for sure why the building partially collapsed. The owners had once been cited for a collapsing retaining wall, but the wall wasn’t part of the building. City records show other citations, mostly for trash and weeds.
Property records suggest the land is owned by Thoa Thi Takim and Thuan Hieu Tran.