Historic commission to discuss plans for Jack's Bar

Jack's Bar owners plan to discuss the future of the building with the city's historic board today after receiving an engineering report that found the structure is uninhabitable and is a hazard to the public in its current state.

Don Lehr, who co-owns the bar at Fifth and Carson streets with Allan Fiegehen, will have the report on hand at the meeting.

Palmer & Lauder Engineers of Carson City inspected the building earlier this month. The building has remained unoccupied since June 2002 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. The new owners said it won't likely be used as a bar but could become a cafe.

Before any demolition or repair work can be done to the building, plans must be approved by the Carson City Historic Resources Committee for evaluation.

The report, written by Robert Lauder and submitted Aug. 25, found the building had no engineered lateral bracing in place on the east side and found it was unlikely there was an adequate system of connections between the roof and walls.

For these reasons among others, it was the engineer's opinion the building is structurally inadequate for occupancy and poses a hazard to the public.

"Failure of the east wall in a seismic event could lead to collapse of the entire structure, including material falling out into the public right-of-way," the report said.

Lehr said the report confirmed what the owners had already thought was wrong with the building. It is their intention, though, to find out what the historic resources committee thinks can be done with it, Lehr said in an earlier interview. The building, built in the 1890s, lacks some of the the structural elements found in today's buildings.

"A lot of interesting things happened back in those days," Lehr said.

The engineer suggest three courses of action -- take the building down and reconstruct it, repair it or demolish it.

"The issues involved with simply demolishing the building down are not engineering issues but more in the nature of the value of preservation of a historical building ...," the report said.

Repairing the building would involve realigning the walls, which could be expensive, problematic, dangerous and may not work, Lauder said.

Lehr and Fiegehen are also in the process of renovating the Ormsby House across Fifth Street from the bar.


What: Historic Resources Committee regular meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Bonanza Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.


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