City of Darlington Administration building assessed

Historic architect Ben Whitener, with city planning director Lisa Chalian-Rock examine damage at the Julius A. Dargan Home.  Photo by Samantha Lyles

Historic architect Ben Whitener, with city planning director Lisa Chalian-Rock examine damage at the Julius A. Dargan Home.
Photo by Samantha Lyles

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

The historic Julius A. Dargan Home, built in 1856 and now home to the City of Darlington Administration offices, sustained significant damage from rain and wind during the Oct. 2 – 5 storms, causing a chimney to collapse and breach the roof above the second floor Mayor’s office. Ceilings have been removed in three offices and black mold was found on the joists. Damage assessments are now underway.

Historic architect Ben Whitener of Charleston firm Cummings and McCrady examined the damage and reported that the mold problem was exacerbated by two issues: the building’s two chimneys didn’t have flashing installed around them, and the roof lacked proper ventilation ports. The second chimney is also damaged, with mortar “the consistency of chalk”.

“When the water came in during the rains, with no ventilation, that promoted the growth of mold very quickly,” said city manager Howard Garland.

Whitener advised removing the roof over the collapsed chimney and with a crane. Garland says the city is waiting for agreement from their insurance company engineer before beginning any work. Early estimates indicate a cost of $250,000 to restore the historic building and repair the damaged and compromised chimneys.

Until further notice, all City of Darlington business license, building and codes, and planning operations will be based at City Hall, at 400 Pearl Street.

Author: Duane Childers

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