Historic Downtown Building Shut Down One Year After Earthquake

Wednesday, December 26th 2012, 10:19 pm
By: Tess Maune

An earthquake shut down an historic Tulsa building, more than a year after it shook the city.

To most people, it's known as the building with the Arby's on the first floor, but the Excalibur has been in downtown Tulsa for almost a century.

World Publishing bought the building back in 1997.

With the exception of Arby's, the building has been sitting empty for more than a year.

When pieces of masonry and cement started falling from the building in late August, Managing Editor Susan Ellerbach says the World hired engineers from an outside firm to inspect the Excalibur.

Ellerbach said the engineers reported the structural damage was likely caused by the magnitude 5.6 earthquake and its many aftershocks back in November 2011.

11/7/2012 Related Story: 4.7 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Oklahoma Monday Evening

Ellerbach told us the building is simply not safe, and because of those serious safety concerns, World Publishing made the decision to close it.

The building's owner has contacted the city to let them know about the dangers of the building. The city has since shut down the sidewalks surrounding the building. They're also expected to put up scaffolding to shield any other possible falling debris.

A sign is posted on the front door of Arby's to let customers know the fast food joint isn't open anymore. U.S. Beef, the parent company to Arby's, said they found out Monday the space may not be safe.

CFO Brett Pratt told us plans were already in the works to find a new downtown location.

World Publishing says that it's going to take some time to figure out what they're going to do with the building. Right now, they're researching many options.

As for the city, they say they haven't been notified of any other buildings that may have earthquake damage, but they say if they get the call, they'll be happy to inspect.