Germania Collapses in Freeport

By: Max Seigle Email
By: Max Seigle Email

Freeport resident Randall Skeens surveys the damage at the old Germania building. The collapse is hard to swallow. "I arrived 10 minutes later and saw our dream just totally demolished," Skeens said. He is part of a citizens group trying to preserve the Germania, also known as the City Lights Building. It was built in 1869. "Our dream was to preserve the buidling, possibly with a brewery, a restaurant, bring live entertainment back," said Skeens. On Saturday around 12:30, firefighters responded to the bulding. Right now, they're calling the collapse an accident, but don't know what caused the structure to cave in. Nobody was hurt during the collapse, which brought out lots of onlookers. Some came armed with cameras, others with sad faces. Skeens says despite today's damage, his group still plans to save what's left. "We're still going to try and save the front and the back. As you can see that part of the building is not learning and we can rebuild the center part of it and if i have to chain myself up to it before it's bulldozed I will. We're just not going to let it go." So hopefully this historic building won't become history in town. Main Street, in front of the Germania, is closed off. No word yet on when it will re-open.


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  • by Mr Location: Obvious on Jun 12, 2007 at 04:42 AM
    Get over it. Who cares about it or historical you had you chances if you tried hard enough you know the towns people could have done something about it so be quite and let it go there are to many other buildings that need focus like the huge Rawleigh Building and all the other empty building in this town are they to decaying who is doing regular inspections regular temp etc so mold rot etc don't build in these complexes if the Rawleigh Building goes down thats city blocks of building thats allot of damage stop crying and fighting over the stupid dead Germania and get it together just before the Germania Freeport was Focused on what houses where the worst off and might need to come down good job ignore businesses that are empty and roting Germania perfect example get it together!!
  • by John Doe Location: Freeport, IL on Jun 10, 2007 at 04:38 AM
    Get a life, Skeens. This building is old, and if you took the time to walk around the outside of the yellow barrier tape, you would have noticed that almost all of the walls are bowing outward. That building is just another part of the eyesores that plague the downtown area of Freeport. Instead of trying to rebuild what is OBVIOUSLY an unsafe building, why don't we all face the inevitable; it's unsafe and there's not a chance that it's gonna be rebuilt. Take the bricks and sell them as memorial pieces. At least then, the City Lights building WILL live on in it's own special way with everyone that donates money towards a brick.
  • by toni Location: freeport on Jun 9, 2007 at 09:06 PM
    Mr. Skeens' group is foolish for still trying to preserve "what's left" of this building. Do they plan on paying for the project? If not, then who? The City of Freeport? I certainly hope not. It's pretty clear just by looking at it that the roof collapsed on itself. Not unbelievable, considering how old the building is, how long it has been vacant, and how little maintenance it has received in that time. Time for the group to follow a new dream, and to stop trying to waste my tax dollars.
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