|Bricks Falling from North Adams Mill Causes Sidewalk Closure|
|Staff Reports, iBerkshires|
04:23PM / Friday, February 03, 2023
|An attempt was made to preserve at least a few of the distinctive sawtooth edges. |
This drone image taken by Nick Mantello in 2017 shows how the interior of the mill is gone. A concrete pad was poured along the north side and steel struts put in place to stabilize the wall.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The sidewalk is once again closed on the south side of Union Street along the historic Hoosac Mill because of falling bricks.
The century-old mill had a catastrophic roof collapse
more than a decade ago, caused by excessive snow load, and the interior had to be gutted and the walls fortified.
The nearly 200 yards of sidewalk was closed off for months and years at a time after the collapse and again several years ago as owner Ariel Sutain worked with an engineering firm to try to save some elements of the distinctive sawtooth roof.
The "serrated" roof configuration was made to allow for east-facing windows that brought light into the 265,000 square-foot textile mill. Those windows were covered over years ago.
Building Inspector William Meranti said this week that some more bricks had fallen. He said Sutain had called in the engineering firm to see if the wall could be saved — or the structure taken down.
There's no roof and nothing left inside the bulk of the mill; a few structures on the east and west ends are of the nearly 6 acre property are still standing and usable. There's only four sawtooth elements left on the north side along Union Street and the walls are being support by steel braces and concrete.
The mill was built in 1906 as part of the sprawling textile empire of Arnold Print Works and then purchased by the Hoosac Cotton Co. in 1911. It was later occupied by the former Hunter Outdoor Products and was a mushroom factory, Delftree.
Sutain bought the building in 2007 and had been upgrading and repairing it, including replacing windows and repointing the brickwork. One section became a gallery and another hosted artists for the North Adams Open Studios. The rest was rented out for storage.