LAURINBURG — The concrete-block back of a Church Street building, constructed in the 1900s, is being rebuilt to modern standards following last week’s collapse of the brick facade that covered it.
Mike McLaurin, who with his brother Bob owns the building, said Wednesday that the brick facade — constructed in the 1960s after the old county courthouse that stood where the A.B. Gibson building now stands was demolished — was never properly anchored to the concrete wall.
“I guess that wall held up good for 50 years,” he said.
Jim Willis, chairman of the Laurinburg Downtown Revitalization Commission, said there was about three feet between the two walls “when there shouldn’t have been the length of a brick.” Guide wires for a nearby utility pole had to be moved, he said, before the repairs could begin.
“It really was unusual and somewhat dicey,” he said, “… for the city of Laurinburg to come in and move the guide wires so the brick could be repaired.
“The good news is that nobody was hurt. The businesses in there were not even interupted, because the back section was like a storage area.”
The building once housed Mac’s Carpet and Flooring, owned by Mike and Bob McLaurin’s father. When Mac died about 10 years ago, the two sons bought it from their mother, and have “been very selective” in the tenants they have chosen to inhabit the space.
“My brother and I are both town managers and we have a love for downtowns and a belief that healthy downtowns lead to a great community,” said Mike, who on Wednesday was celebrating his retirement from the town of Waxhaw.
“… We have great tenants in there now,” he added, speaking of Detonation Dance and Janay’s Styling Salon.
The two do not intend to replace the brick and have instead chosen a coating, in hopes of one day exploring other options including the creation of a “vintage” facade complete with an old-school Orange Crush sign.
“We try to keep the building up as best as we can, to try to keep it beneficial to downtown,” he said.
Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 12. Follow her on Twitter @aoinscotco.