HIGH POINT, N.C. — Crews started knocking down the last wall still standing of the Kilby Hotel Thursday afternoon after three of its walls collapsed Wednesday, shutting down Washington Drive.
But the building’s collapse is not stopping plans already in motion to redevelop it.
“We are not discouraged by any means,” said Charity Belton, a local project manager for Community Builders Association.
The group is a California-based non-profit planning on taking over ownership of the building in a few weeks. Belton says that project is still moving forward.
“We’re excited about the project, not excited about what has taken place, but it’s a new direction,” Belton said.
Next door to the Kilby, Pastor Michael Robinson is also making plans to prevent what happened at the hotel from happening at his church.
“I don’t want to twiddle my thumbs and God forbid the building comes down,” Robinson said.
Robinson is the pastor of First Baptist Church, a building about 110 years old and in need of close to $400,000 worth of repairs.
“The steeple is leaning,” Robinson said. “You have the east wall that’s leaning.”
He says the church has been raising money and working with developers in Durham for the past two years to help restore it.
A plan he’s trying to speed up.
“The eye is on us,” Robinson said.
The city currently doesn’t have any plans to demolish the church.
But Robinson says his goal is to present his own plan before that happens.
“I refuse to go through this again,” he said.