Robinson Avenue closed due to falling debris from First National
Granite from outside the 26th floor of First National crashed down onto the street below Sunday night, hitting two parked trucks and prompting the emergency closure of Robinson Avenue.
Building owner Gary Brooks reported after inspecting the scene the incident likely was due to water that got in behind the exterior granite during a fire that occurred several weeks ago. The freezing temperatures, he said, are likely to have led to the granite popping out of place.
Of concern to both Brooks and the city is that the debris crashed down into a pedestrian crosswalk below.
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Brooks and partner Charlie Nicholas purchased First National in early 2017 and are in the process of redeveloping the 1931 Art Deco tower into housing, a hotel and retail while converting the two adjoining buildings into a parking garage.
The street closing, Brooks said, will likely continue until the remaining granite is inspected and secured.
“The city is shutting down Robinson from the south side of the Oil & Gas Building (where Sweets and Eats is located) to the north side of our building,” Brooks said. “We will have to do some clean-up and We’re going to start building scaffolding around the building to make sure people are protected.”