History of collapsed building shows no structural complaints

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The 41 Action News Investigators have been looking into the background of the building that collapsed on Thursday to see if there were any signs it was about to collapse.

The building opened in 1931 as home to the Benton Theatre. The theater closed in 1952 but the building is registered as a historical site. It has since become home to the Apostolic Assembly of Faith in Christ Jesus church.

It was not registered on the city’s list of dangerous buildings.

“We haven't had anything like this,” said Dalena Taylor, dangerous building manager for the city of Kansas City, Mo. “Apparently this building is 75 to 100 years old, so we don't even know what could have caused it.”

A representative for the city says if the building had been on that list, people would not been allowed in the building. City records show the building did receive several citations for graffiti and trash. All of those citations are logged in the system as resolved.

The city has no record of any structural complaints or citations for the building.

“In this instance, this was something that couldn't be foreseen,” Taylor said.

The city also only has records of three permits pulled for the building in recent years. The most recent was a general permit for the area to excavate and install Google Fiber. Beyond that, the most recent permit is from 2000 when crews worked on the plumbing and gas in the building. The city also has record of a general construction permit pulled in 1987.

The most recent fire inspection was in January 2014. The city says that inspection did not check the structural integrity of the building.

41 Action News contacted the parent church based in Ranch Cucamonga, Calif., to inquire about the status of the building and any construction it might have undergone. Staff members did not return our phone calls.

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