Hold that wrecking ball

City may be violating Army Corps agreement
Andy Ouriel
Feb 27, 2014


A federal agency overseeing design and construction management across the country opposes ongoing demolition at the Keller Building.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives are protesting work well underway to tear down the blighted building in downtown Sandusky.

Watch video of the demolition so far by clicking HERE

In short, representatives claim city officials failed to submit all the necessary documentation — photographs, site plans, sketches and more — to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office before demolition started.

The Register independently obtained this email, sent to Sandusky engineer Aaron Klein, summarizing what the city may have done wrong.

Bruce Sanders, an agency spokesman based in Buffalo, N.Y., verified the message.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently coordinating with the city of Sandusky to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit we issued to them,” Sanders told the Register. “This is an ongoing investigation. I can say that the city of Sandusky has cooperated with the corps of engineers and communications are ongoing.    

Our staff will continue to coordinate with all involved parties to ensure compliance with all applicable federal laws”

City commissioners contend they’ve acted properly in pursuing the demolition.

They pointed to an October 2007 agreement between three entities: the city of Sandusky; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.

The contract, which expired in 2012, called for city officials to “secure and contain the building from further structural damage” and “market the building for redevelopment”

City officials believe they’ve fulfilled their obligations during this time by:

• Axing the Keller Building’s chimney after gusting winds apparently caused a brick to dislodge in early 2012.

• Fortifying other deficiencies in and around the structure.

• Developing the nearby area, such as debuting the Paper District Marina in 2011.

• Allowing prospective developers to tour the building to possibly salvage and transform the property into something viable, such as apartments.

“I am not a bit concerned,” said commissioner Dick Brady, referencing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ stance.

Said city commissioner Dennis Murray Jr.: “The city does believe that it is well within its rights to continue with the demolition”


JMOP's picture

Lol, ok, I have to ask if that's really someone in that window, or if it's photo shopped. It doesn't look real to me.

mimi's word

I am not sure who it was but people have been putting paintings up in the broken windows. It is one of those paintings...

JMOP's picture

Thank you Mimi


Too late now to stop the wrecking ball. How do you put the corner of the building back up? With the corner of the building gone and the water tank is doing a balancing act, I would say the building is even a bigger risk now than ever. The whole thing is getting out of control. People need to accept that this building is coming down.


In short. They didn't pay for a permit, and you know you can't do ANYTHING without the Feds getting paid. It's kinda funny. The city wouldn't hesitate to make me stop putting a fence up on my property, paid for with my money, without paying them for a permit. Now they are on hold.


You can't find the COE in Findlay with a search warrant and the citizens of Findlay actually want them to help with the flooding problem.


They would be spending money in Findlay, they just want a check and an ego boost


You would think so, BabyMomma, but they want a lot of money up front. Findlay paid handsomely for a "study" into the flooding of the Blanchard for which they got a report telling them what they already knew.

The Don

This ugly thing just won't go away!!


I am confused again! "The keller is falling the keller is falling!" yet she has withstood how many winters and powerful wind storms?

"The tower is leaning the tower is leaning!" yet when demolition starts, they leave the tower on it's support columns and start on the walls?

Please SR can you post the signed agreement with the army corps and the historical group?

My continued bet...This old building will fight the wrecking ball everyday till quittin' time. She ain't going down easy!


Once again in Sandusky - the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Please quit wasting time and money by prolonging the life of this hazard.

Licorice Schtick

How imminent could its collapse have been if it takes half a million bucks to knock it down?


Where was the "highly competent" Law Director Icsman in this process?

From the Grave

Well, a 1984 Oldsmobile Omega is now 30 years old and considered "classic," but it still isn't worth a sh&t and should be in the junk yard.

Ralph J.

Why did the city wait so long for the chimney to come down? The December 26, 2007 minutes show for the chimney to be demolished in addition to roof repairs and covering the windows. Maybe the Sandusky Register will publish that 2007 agreement. That agreement would specify the requirements according to Preservation Brief 31 Mothballing Historic Buildings. It appears to me that the city did not properly mothball the building from further decay. That chimney should have came down in 2008.