Wrecking crews on Tuesday resumed razing the century-old Harvey Apartments, the oldest building in Whittier, after its owner refused to accept liability for the earthquake-damaged structure, pending preservation efforts.
Demolition had been under way for about a week when historic preservation activists persuaded the property owner, Jack Ashley, to stop the destruction Feb. 3. But last week, Ashley refused to sign a letter agreeing to secure the half-demolished building and provide the wrecking crew with severance pay, said City Manager Thomas G. Mauk. The city then ordered demolition to resume.
The unreinforced masonry core of the building is mostly intact and survived last week's 5.0 aftershock of the Oct. 1 earthquake, said Michael Sullens, president of the Whittier Conservancy. "It's been very disappointing," he said. "There are a lot of people who wanted to see it saved."