As reported by Wednesday Journal last week, the Village of Oak Park issued a report Monday, concluding that unpermitted work led to the recent collapse of a building on Harrison Street.
Back in August, the façade of 201-211 Harrison St. unexpectedly came tumbling down, injuring one and leaving three Oak Park businesses unable to operate. After that, the village's building codes advisory commission was tasked with the responsibility of figuring out what went wrong, and what steps village hall can take in the future to avoid a similar situation.
The commission ended up determining that the collapse "was directly caused by unpermitted work that included removing critical masonry support below the steel lintel beam at the top of the storefront windows. This loss of bearing support for the beam caused the beam to be eccentrically loaded by the masonry façade above and ultimately lead to the failure."
Commissioners also came up with a list of steps Oak Park can take in the future, according to a press release. Those include instituting unannounced inspections, requiring contractors to pass a test, increasing penalties for doing work without a permit, and hiring more village staff to enforce codes.