Retaining wall collapse sends hillside into two Mount Adams homes

Decks on street above also in danger, city says

CINCINNATI -- A retaining wall in Mount Adams failed early Wednesday, sending a hillside sliding into homes on Baum Street.

The damage was so severe the Cincinnati Fire Department ordered people living in two homes to stay out. The slide damaged the home's first and second floors.

Large pieces of the wall appear to have slammed into the homes. (Photo by Jason Fair | WCPO)

No one was injured.

Art Dahlberg, director of Cincinnati's buildings department, said several decks along Oregon Street, above Baum, also are in danger.

Dahlberg's department ordered all the decks to stay closed until the city can be sure they're safe.

A major concern: the deck at City View Tavern, "where the safety of the deck has been severely compromised and was ordered to be shored to prevent further movement," Dahlberg wrote.

The slide doesn't appear to have compromised the foundations of buildings on Oregon, he wrote.

The city's building department says the slide compromised decks behind buildings on Oregon Street. (Photo by Jason Fair | WCPO)

The section of wall that failed is part of a single, long wall behind multiple properties on Baum. According to Dahlberg, the entire wall has been under construction since September 2012.

The city issued a permit in August 2015 for the section that collapsed, and work finished in November 2016.

A memo from City Manager Harry Black says the wall is privately owned.

Metropolitan Design and Development hired a professional engineer to design the wall, Dahlberg said. Civil Solutions Associates, a private engineering firm, did field inspections on the project.

Metropolitan Design and Scherzinger Drilling were on site Wednesday to check the wall's condition.

In the meantime, some residents were worried about the possibility of greater collapses.

"There are more houses down there; there's two more developments over there," said Jim Hanauer, who lives nearby. "Before we know it, it might be Flat Adams instead of Mount Adams."

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