Keller Building's days are numbered

After years of indecision, Sandusky officials are taking steps to tear down a dangerous and dilapidated city landmark.
Andy Ouriel
Apr 29, 2013


City commissioners recently voted 7-0 to spend $26,000 for preliminary work related to razing the Keller Building. Workers from Cleveland-based firm Partners Environmental will evaluate the West Shoreline Drive building and formulate a demolition plan.

The project still has many unknowns, including:

• When the building will actually come down.

• A timeline for the demolition process.

• The cost of the demolition.

City officials have for years bickered about the building's condition. The arguments ranged from letting a private developer transform the property to letting the building sit idle, since it's considered a historical marker.

Residents' concerns about safety, however, have pushed commissioners forward.

"It's a deathtrap," said West Shoreline Drive resident Bob Gentzel, who represents a group of residents at the nearby Chesapeake Lofts.

Earlier this year, Gentzel urged commissioners to take immediate and decisive action to destroy the building. Fears about safety risks peaked in February 2012, when a brick fell from the building's chimney and plummeted several stories onto the street. No one was injured.

City officials have since blocked off that area of Shoreline Drive, which is a main corridor leading from the Paper District Marina to the downtown business district. They've set no date to lift the traffic restrictions.




I'll believe it when I see it down

Raoul Duke

Good place for an ice skating rink.


lets see.. rope off the area. make sure all utilities are safe and people a safe. bring in a team to help control dust. find someone to take the materials for either recycling of metals, or disposal of other materials. and finally, a crane with a heavy ball.. For that information, I'll be sure to only charge you 10,000.. a steal of a deal..

Eph 2 8-10

A couple of pea shooters in the right places will bring it down quickly and cheaply.....

Don S

Some explosive and water(to control dust) will solve the problem quickly. But don't use the company that Huron used in demolition of it's silos.


why not???

T. A. Schwanger


We shared an idea with the City Manager and staff to recycle a portion of the limestone material for a public setting area in the Northwest Plaza west of the Chesapeake Lofts area. A project similar to the pergola area at the City Greenhouse is one idea.

T. A. Schwanger
Save Our Shoreline Parks

The Answer Person

I am sure you also started a kick-off fundraiser for this plan with a large personal check, right?

T. A. Schwanger

### AnswerPerson

We are now taking donations. I will personally match your contribution up to $1000 dollars. One option is for a Boy Scout to take on a portion of this project as an Eagle Scout Project using stone recycled from the Keller Building. If you wish not to contribute financially, you can always come down and get your hands dirty.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I wonder if various universities would be interested in helping defray the costs a bit by using this as a research project? For instance, since Toledo University has a reputation for its engineering college, perhaps they could help fund some of the cost and in turn give their students a real lesson in structural engineering/demolition? There are many other schools which could get in on this, too, even as just observers so a foothold can be formed for future educational partnerships.


Great Idea HZ! What better way to educate than hands on?! I know without a college education on small to mid range demolition projects, that I would be able to teach because I have had safety courses on many issues and have had to in turn pass those on. This building is so old that it actually will need a study and more than likely have to be rid of contaminants of all types. Asbestos and chemicals to say the least. But what better way to teach than being right there, having to wear the safety suits and writing things down?!

Well said, HZ.

PS. Wait till it's the Northern Ohio summer climate to do this. 98 % humidity and 103 degrees F for temp. It's "more fun" that way. No-one, in no-way, should ever have an engineering degree without working in the field for at least 2 years doing the same thing you are telling your subordinates to do.

You will be hated if you didn't get "your cherry popped" doing what you want them to do. Promise.

2cents's picture

With Murray & Murray around the corner, one slip, one mistake and the place could cost $ millions $ to take down!


No, no, I've said for a couple of years about ten people armed with nice big slingshots would work and hey much cheaper. I'm sure you could find volunteers up there.


I want it down to but.....How many wind storms has she withstood? For how many years now? With all the chicken littles claiming she is falling, leaning, crumbling ect, remember, this building has solid concrete walls, piers and columns. She will come down just as hard as the con-agra silos.