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King St. business ordered closed after report cites 'significant - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

King St. business ordered closed after report cites 'significant threat' from building instability

Portions of the buildings pose a "significant threat to life safety," a report states. (Source: Bennett Preservation Engineering) Portions of the buildings pose a "significant threat to life safety," a report states. (Source: Bennett Preservation Engineering)
A damaged corner column noted in the report. (Source: Bennett Preservation Engineering) A damaged corner column noted in the report. (Source: Bennett Preservation Engineering)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A longtime downtown fabrics and stereo store has been ordered to close because of concern the structures it occupies could come tumbling down. 

Read Brothers was ordered to close based on a new report from a structural engineer, city spokesman Jack O'Toole said.

"As always, public safety is job one for the city in these situations," O'Toole said.

The report states portions of the Read Brothers buildings located at 593, 591 and 589.5 King Street pose "a significant threat to life safety," O'Toole said.

The owner of the building, Tom Read, said he has hired a structural engineer to do his own assessment, calling the report "extremist."

The city has been monitoring the properties since April 12 over concerns about brickwork. On April 17, structural engineer Craig Bennett issued an initial report and the city began working with the buildings' owner on repairs, he said.

"We are grateful to Mr. Bennett for his expert and timely recommendations, and look forward to seeing them implemented without delay," O'Toole said.

Here is the initial April report:

Here is the additional report submitted Aug. 3:

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