The Main Bar is officially getting demolished.
The bar held a celebration for customers back in February before closing, but the fate of the building wasn’t determined until this week. The Columbus Downtown Commission voted 5-1 to demolish the building, located at 16 W. Main St.
Although it’s been known as The Main Bar for the past couple of decades, the building itself has had a long life. Constructed in 1890, the building has been used as both a residential and commercial structure. Originally called the Hare and Corbin Saloon, the building is the last surviving late 19th-century commercial structure on West Main between S. High and Wall Street, according to Columbus Landmarks Foundation.
After the demolition, the historic building will be replaced by seven new parking spots in the parking lot on the property. The commission put a condition on the approval that gives Schiff Properties, who owns the parcel, two years to bring a redevelopment plan to the city. If they don’t, the parking lot will have to be upgraded to current city standards.
According a report by The Dispatch, staff in the city’s planning division say that two inspectors, one hired by the owner and one hired by the city, found “that there are structural issues with the building rendering it unsafe.” One report recommended that the building be demolished; the other concluded that “the building is beyond repair.”
Bob Loversidge, the CEO of Schooley Caldwell architects, was the only “no” vote on the Downtown Commission. Loversidge acknowledged that The Main Bar may not be architecturally significant, but because it’s the only remaining original building on the block it has value and could be renovated.