New future for historic Chillicothe building

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Work began this week to stabilize the historic Chillicothe building that was badly damaged by a fire deliberately set in 2003. The red-brick Carlisle building dates back to the 1880s, and its single tower dominates a Chillicothe intersection. 

For this reason, the building serves as the foundation of Chillicothe's downtown, says Nancy L. King, the attorney for the nonprofit group behind the $1.5 million renovation effort. Historic Chillicothe Inc. bought the building this summer and plans a 12-month fund drive to raise the required money. 

The building has continued to deteriorate since the fire. Last April one of the exterior rear walls collapsed due to moisture saturation. Now it needs to be fixed before winter sets in. King says she hired Utmost Renovations, a Columbus firm that specializes in damage mitigation repair, for the project. 

Work this week will focus on installation of a temporary support system and removal of debris from the failed wall. Steel supports will replace the original structure, and the rear of the building will be enclosed by a temporary shelter to prevent further deterioration. A red-brick exterior wall will permanantly replace the temporary shelter when restoration is done. That work is scheduled to take place in 2012-2013, King says. 

A press release from her group reports that the new and improved Carlisle building would benefit the entire community and revitalize Chillicothe's downtown area.