GREENSBORO, N.C. — The City of Greensboro now owns Cascade Saloon, according to Assistant City Manager David Parrish. The city took over ownership through eminent domain.
"It was condemned. It is a safety concern. We enter the property at risk, we really don't enter the property ourselves actually," Parrish said.
Pictures from the Engineering and Inspections Department showed part of the ceiling and second floor have collapsed. Parrish described loose wires and exposure to wind and rain, making the building less structurally sound.
People who own businesses nearby showed our crew flaps of tar from the roof blow onto neighboring buildings.
One suggested the property would be a better historic tribute if used as a park with plaques and pictures of the old Saloon.
Jim Forster shares a wall with Cascade. He owns Jae-Mar Brass and Lamp Company downtown Greensboro and keeps a picture of the old Saloon on the wall adjacent to the property.
He said the building was used a lot until the late 1960s. "It's been everything from a junk store to an antique store. There was also an entire newspaper operation in that building," Forster explained.
He would love to see the building restored but has concerns with the viability of the interior. "I hope the city makes the right decisions and doesn't put an inordinate amount of tax dollars into it. It's not a real monument. I mean, a saloon from 1919?" he questioned.
Parrish said the city received estimates last year that stabilizing the building would cost at least $700,000. Restoring it would cost even more.
Those bids have lapsed, he said, and the city is now waiting for updated bids for stabilization. They expect to get the new estimates in May and approach city council with the figures so members can discuss what to do.
Demolition would cost the city, too, but not nearly as much as preserving it.