NORTH ATTLEBORO — Town officials are ordering the demolition of the remainder of the Webster building on Broadway, citing the potential hazard of continuing collapse.
Town Administrator Mark Fisher said the building’s owners were issued the order this afternoon.
A large portion of the roof of the abandoned, 19th century industrial building collapsed under the weight of snow Wednesday, scattering debris on the Peterson Street side of the structure.
Fisher said officials are concerned about the partial roof collapse triggering further deterioration. He said a particular worry is that a similar collapse on the Broadway side of the building could send construction debris showering onto the roadway.
Neighbors have complained about the building, once part of the town’s vital jewelry industry, for years.
Last year, a neighbor complained that the structure posed a safety and fire hazard. However, officials determined at the time that the town had done everything possible to ensure that the structure was secured.
Last year, the owners placed the property up for sale for $889,000 and noted that preliminary engineering had already been done to allow the construction of condos, apartments or offices.
The wood frame structure, which includes a water tower, was constructed in 1898 and was the site of G.K. Webster and Co., which made a variety of metal products from flatware to jewelry.