Residents Link Age, Earthquakes To Building Collapse

Wednesday, September 30th 2015, 5:57 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Officials and residents in Cushing are still looking for answers after a downtown building suddenly collapsed Tuesday night.

The building, on the corner of Noble Avenue and Broadway Street, was formerly home to a few apartments and a variety store named “Boy Howdy.” Residents said the building had been empty and neglected for several years.

“It's been kind of a landmark over the years. You hate to lose any buildings, any structures in your downtown area,” Cushing Emergency Management Services director Bob Noltensmeyer said.

The building suffered major damage to the southeastern corner. The roof collapsed inward forcing the eastern wall to crumble into the street. Crews later came to knock down what was left of the corner for public safety.

City officials said Wednesday it was too early to tell what caused the roof to collapse. But they do say it was an old building that needed repairs. Noltensmeyer estimated it was built during the 1920s. Others, however, were not so sure that's really all there is too it

“We've had lots of earthquakes and it is a real old building,” Mary Ellis said.

Ellis, who lives in Cushing, says she was a frequent customer at Boy Howdy and was sad to see the building go.

So far in September, 27 earthquakes above a 2.5 magnitude have been reported in Cushing, according to the United States Geological Survey. The largest quake topped out at 4.1. That earthquake was closely followed by the closing of oil waste water wells just outside town. Some residents have also reported cracks in other older buildings around town.

Noltensmeyer said the new owner is from Tulsa and has a decision ahead of him on whether he will keep the building, sell the brick or tear down the structure all together.