Dorchester County Signs Contract to Stabilize Hearn Building - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dorchester County Signs Contract to Stabilize Hearn Building

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The Hearn Building (Photo:WBOC) The Hearn Building (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  It's been four and a half months since that wall of the Hearn Building came crashing down, and the 500 block of Race Street in Cambridge was closed off to traffic.  Now, Dorchester County has signed a contract with a contractor to get the street reopened, and that building stabilized.

It's been a long four months for businesses on the 500 block of Race Street.

"Immediate effects weren't really bad.  Over time, the longer it goes on, the more we get forgotten.  We're just a business sitting here trying to keep our doors open, and you're just a forgotten business on this street," said Floyd Elzey, owner of Chesapeake Upholstery.

Elzey said businesses there are seeing up to a 50 percent reduction in sales over the past few months.  He wants to see work done soon to get the traffic moving again.

"I know the politics of it takes time, but I'm hoping and praying something happens with it soon, because it's been too long already," said Elzey.

The county now has the good news.  A contractor has been secured.

"Seven days from yesterday, they will begin stabilization of the front of the building.  They then have four weeks to complete phase one, which is stabilization of the front of the building, and reopening the street," said Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers.

The delays are attributed to negotiations between contractors and obtaining grant money.  Although the work is now on paper, some still say it isn't worth the effort.

"I just believe they should tear it down.  It would be missed, but I have a belief that a good architect could come to this town, redesign it, and if not enhance it or even make it look better," said Garry P. Lewis of Cambridge.

The plan now is to use stilts to hold up the front while the building undergoes a larger refurbishment.

Some good news for the city and the county is that there's a buyer interested in the Hearn Building. It is the same person who was interested in the building before it collapsed.  No contracts have been signed yet, but the county is hopeful.

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