Robert B. Green historical building deemed unsafe following earthquake damage

Building closed off, safety zone established following 5.7 earthquake on Wednesday

SAN ANTONIO – The Robert B. Green historical building in downtown San Antonio has been deemed unsafe by structural engineers following damage from an earthquake.

According to University Health officials, the building in the 900 block of West Martin has been closed off and a safety zone has been established around it until further notice.

The historical building had visible cracks on its exterior.

“We had a structural engineer go out there to evaluate, you know, any damage to the building. And unfortunately, they’ve determined that that building appears to be unsafe,” said Leni Kirkman, a University Health spokesperson.

The staff shut down the building immediately Thursday morning and put up a fence.

“We’ll continue to have those engineers do additional assessments and see where we go from here in terms of how extensive that damage is and what needs to happen next,” said Kirkman.

According to San Antonio police, residents in high-rise buildings near downtown felt a shake from what was determined to be a 5.7 earthquake in West Texas.

The USGS website showed the earthquake occurred about 24 miles WSW of Mentone, Texas at 3:32 p.m. CST, which is about 350 miles northwest of San Antonio.

The vast majority of the historical building’s clinical services were moved in 2013 to the newer Robert B. Green clinical building, which appears to be unaffected by the tremor. However, engineers are examining all the buildings on the campus, University Health officials said. The administrative services that had remained in the historical building are being moved to other office space in the city.

The Robert B. Green historical building is more than 100 years old and was named after former Bexar County Judge Robert B. Green.

Many San Antonians received care there during the influenza pandemic of 1918, and many more were treated there during the 1940s and 1950s polio epidemic that shut down San Antonio schools.

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