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Tearing down the wall – Lehrkinds Brewery Wall to be Demolished – Bozeman Daily Chronicle

The brewery wall,  looming above the intersection of N Wallace and E Tamarack, will soon be torn down.  It will be interesting to see what Scala decides to do with the property.

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ERIN SCHATTAUER, Chronicle Staff Writer | 1 comment

The owner of Bozeman’s historic brewery wall plans to tear it down.

“We fully anticipate submitting the application for demolition by Feb. 18, 2014, as Mr. Risk requested, and we fully expect to have the wall down on a timely schedule,” Josh Scala of Scala Properties wrote in an email to the Chronicle.

On Monday, the city received an email from Scala indicating that the Washington, D.C., owners wished to tear down the wall, but at the time, Bob Risk, Bozeman’s chief building official, said the email did not include a firm plan or timeline.

But Scala said the company complied with the city’s request and is moving forward with demolition. He said the company has determined the best method and contractor for the job.

Wendy Thomas, the city’s community development director, said in an earlier interview that ideally the city and owner would work together to remove the wall.

“Of course, the company is willing to accept the assistance of Mr. Risk or anyone else who might be able to move the process more expeditiously. It is our view, however, that the process is proceeding in an orderly fashion and moving along with all deliberate speed,” Scala stated in the email.

The clock started ticking on the wall after Risk mailed a letter dated Jan. 29 to Scala Properties asking the company to decide what to do with the wall, which an engineer deemed unsafe. The letter gave Scala two options — get a demolition permit from the city or get a building permit to install a new bracing system to stabilize the wall and structures.

Before that, an engineer recommended demolishing the wall because the existing bracing system was meant to last months, not years. The exposed building is deteriorating and rotting, according to the engineer who also raised concerns about anchors, which are stressed when winds move the wall.

When Scala first bought the property on the west side of North Wallace Avenue between Aspen and Tamarack streets in 2006, most of the old brewery was torn down to build condominiums and offices, but the project was shelved when the recession hit.

In his email, Scala pointed out that the company applied for permission to demolish the wall in 2010, but the Bozeman City Commission rejected the plan and in January 2011 put a two-year stay on the wall, keeping it from being further demolished.

Scala said the company reinforced the wall with the temporary bracing system, which the engineer recommended, and the situation remained unchanged until the company got a letter from Risk in December asking for an updated structural report. Scala said the report was given to the city. On Jan. 29, Risk wrote demanding a decision be made on the wall’s future.

The wall is the final remains of Julius Lehrkind’s brewery, which was built in 1895.