BUTTE, Mont. - Butte-Silver Bow commissioners could take the final step necessary Wednesday night to begin demolition of the Brincks and Deluxe buildings in Butte.
After 126 years, the Brincks building looks like its down to it final days.
Butte-Silver Bow Public Works Director Dave Shultz told us the last thing that needs to be done so demolition work can begin, is to hire an outside contractor to begin the work.
"They're too tall," said Shultz about the buildings. "For the equipment that we have and so we need to hire a crane."
Crews will be hired to take off the top 8 to 10 feet of the buildings, then Butte-Silver Bow will take care of the rest of the demolition.
"Then we'll use our crews and the means we have to with our excavators and dump trucks to demolish the rest of the building and then haul it out to the landfill," said Shultz.
If the council approves the proposal, Shultz will hire Gilman Construction to complete the first part of the demolition. He said the project will cost about $55,000.
Work could start as early as Thursday morning, when crews begin to block off the work area.
"We're going to have barricades at Utah and Wyoming, and so we will be routing people to the north," said Shultz.
Shultz assured me that all the local businesses will have access. During the major part of the demolition, employees in the beauty shop next door will have to vacate the building.
"So there shouldn't be any potential for someone to get hurt," Shultz said. "Which is always the biggest worry."
Once the demolition begins, it will mark the end of a years-long effort to save the building.
But Chief Executive Matt Vincent told us he doesn't want the Brincks demolition to cloud future preservation efforts.
"I don't want this to be the next chapter in this age old struggle between demolition and preservation, and it's my intention this is the last chapter that history book," he said.
The Public Works Department has barricades stacked near the buildings so they can start the demolition process as soon as possible.
When the Brinks and Deluxe buildings were left in Butte-Silver Bow's possession, historic preservationists did what they could to sell and save the buildings.
The city's historic preservation office tried two times to save the Brincks building, at one time reducing the price of the property to just a thousand dollars for anyone willing to refurbish and repair the building. But as time passed they couldn't find a developer and the building started to fall apart from the inside out.
"Reluctantly I did not believe there was anything more we could do after three attempts at developers packages, practically trying to give it away, getting it in the hands of a responsible developer who could do something with it," said Historic Preservation Officer Jim Jarvis.
Jarvis told us they will save parts of the Brincks and Deluxe buildings, like the name plates at the top, and add them to a museum.