What is needed for structural repair of the Fort Crawford Hotel?

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Image taken by the General Engineering Company on October 13, documents the unsafe floor system in the Fort Crawford Hotel. (General Engineering Company, 2022)

The Fort Crawford Hotel stands empty awaiting its fate. (Courier Press/Melissa R. Collum)

By Melissa R. Collum


The following information is gleaned from a November 30, 2022 letter sent to PdC City Administrator, Chad Abrams, and the October 2022 inspection report from General Engineering Company. It is important to note that Kent Fish, the Vice President of General Engineering Company stated in his report that “This building is repairable and the proposed use of the building is feasible. It will however take a lot of time and money to make the repairs work. I suspect the cost will likely exceed 1 million dollars to get what the owners would like out the building.”

There are three major areas of concern with regard to the structure of the Fort Crawford Hotel; the roof, exterior walls, and windows. Within the context of the report, and letter, a detailed explanation of the damage and repairs was given, as well as a proposed cost of repair/ replacement of each the items and the cost of repairing the entire building.  

The Roof

Immediate: Temporary Support Structure

Long term: Replace or repair roof

Estimated Cost for: Support structure with new roof membrane and insulation = $85,000

Estimated Cost for total roof replacement: $156,000

The issues with the roof are multifold. The roof has been leaking in several places, for an undetermined amount of time, thus causing rot and deterioration of both the roof and the floors below. According to Fish the roof on the building is well beyond its useful life. As structure of the roof becomes weaker by the rotting and as it continues to weaken a phenomenon called ‘ponding’ occurs. Ponding is when a roof deflection (sagging) causes the roof to hold on to water, rather than sheeting it off. As the roof holds more water, more deflection happens and if it continues to occur the roof will eventually collapse. 

The roof of the Fort Crawford Hotel is supported by the rafters and the floor system below, which have damage from the leaking. Additionally, the load paths of the roof supports and floor supports do not line up. This is causing deflection on the third floor. Fish’s report also states there had been a fire in the building, at an unknown time, and the repairs were not properly addressed. Subsequent renovations to plumbing and heating modified joists which also weakened the overall structure and support of the roof. According to Fish, the best option to repair the roof would be to pull off the existing roof, replace it with a new roof and then stabilize the structure below. Once these are completed, the roof membrane will also need to be addressed. 

The Exterior Walls

Immediate: Tuck point bricks that have deteriorated

Long term: Repair of damaged bricks and repair leaking windows

Estimated Cost for only tuck pointing: $17,000

The next area of concern, according to the General Engineering Company is the exterior wall of the building. As reported by the inspection report the exterior wall is made up of multiple layers of brick jointed together to form the inner section of the wall, then air space, then a single layer of brick that forms the finished surface on the exterior walls. The inner section is two to three bricks wide and the outer section is a single layer. 

The majority of the degradation of the bricks has been done by water damage; both from water splashing off the roof and window leakage. The water entering through the leakage has been running between the inner and outer walls and coming out the base of the wall. These two issues have caused enough damage at the base of the wall that the bricks are no longer supporting the upper parts of the wall. According to Fish, when the load of the upper wall exceeds the capacity of the remaining bricks, the wall will fail and fall to the ground. 

The Windows

Immediate: Weatherize

Long Terms: Repair or preferred -replace 

Cost of minimal repair of windows and doors to weatherize the building: $35,000

Cost of replacing window and doors: $108, 750

There are 46 windows, six doors, and the store front window in the Fort Crawford Hotel building. According to Fish, not only are the leaking windows causing damage to the exterior walls, but also to the inside floors. The moisture that is entering the windows is causing the floors to degrade and will eventually collapse. The report has determined that many of the windows are salvageable and could be repaired. 


According to the conclusion drawn by General Engineering Company report if the issues of the roof and windows are not addressed in the near future the building may no long be repairable. Additionally, the timing of the repairs is critical. According to Fish, the building already represents a hazard to the community and the roof needs immediate attention. If the roof collapses there will be no hope to repair the remaining building. Fish is hopeful that once the roof issues are resolved, the rest of the building structure can be addressed. 

It was recommended, by Fish, that Todd Crotty, owner of the Fort Crawford Hotel, hire an architect or engineer to obtain State approved plans immediately. It usually take between three to five months to have plans approved, which means work on the integrity of the building could begin in Spring 2023.  Additionally, Fish estimates that all structural repairs should be completed by August 2023. 

The report from General Engineering Company states the estimated cost of repairing the Fort Crawford Hotel, with minimal repair to windows and doors and without replacing the roof is $163,350. The estimated costs of structural wall repairs, replacement of all windows and doors and a new roof is $344,625. These numbers only address the structural issues and none of the issues related to internal repairs needed to joists, floors, wiring, plumbing, etc. nor does this cost address the   finishing work that will be need to be completed on the  interior. 

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