A section of a street in downtown Auburn is closed indefinitely due to structural integrity issues of an abandoned church.
The Auburn Police Department said in a post on its Facebook page Friday night that due to the “deteriorating condition” of the former AME Zion Church at 71 Wall St., Washington Street between Wall Streets and Van Anden will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians. traffic except for residents living on Washington Street.
The APD said there were concerns about the condition of the structure’s steeple, particularly with regard to wind and weather conditions.
Access in and out of this closed area of Washington Street will only be available from the Van Anden Street side, the APD said.
“The street will remain closed until further guidance is given by city officials on the state of 71 Wall St.,” the APD said.
Auburn Fire Department Chief Mark Fritz said on Saturday the street section would remain closed until the city determines its next steps with the building. He said citizens feared Friday night that the church building had deteriorated more than it already was.
City staff visited the building, assessed the area, and noted further degradation of the exterior walls of the property. The fence that had already been erected around the church was moved further “to expand the exclusion zone, just to ensure public safety,” Fritz said.