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Quakertown Officials Condemn Bush House Hotel
Written by Staff Report
2021-11-10

Residents evacuated to borough hall 

 

          Quakertown Borough officials condemned the Bush House Hotel on Wednesday morning. Municipal officials labeled the hotel, located at 200 West Broad St., unfit for human occupancy due to numerous safety and health violations, according to

Residents of the Bush House Hotel in Quakertown were evacuated to the

borough hall after the hotel was condemned

information posted on the borough's Facebook page.

            An unknown number of residents evacuated from the hotel – owned by Thomas Skiffington, of MT Estate RTY LLC, located at 701 West Market St. in Perkasie – were transported to an evacuation center set up at Quakertown Borough Hall.

            "At this evacuation center, residents are being re-evaluated medically; have the ability to receive food and water; and will meet with County and other governmental and non-profit agencies concerning new housing options," the borough stated in a posting on social media.

            Borough officials decided to condemn the structure after inspecting it. Numerous complaints from residents, first responders and the general public triggered the action, according to the release.

            Portable barricades surrounded the building, directly across the street from the Quakertown Train Station, on Wednesday morning. Municipal officials closed West Broad Street from Front Street to Park Avenue.

            Residents exiting the boarding house placed their personal belongings in one of several blue wheelbarrows lined up in front of the main entrance along West Broad Street. Then, an aid worker wearing a yellow vest pushed wheelbarrows one block to the borough hall.

            A social media post stated that, among numerous violations, the inspections identified heavy bed bug and German roach infestation "throughout the entire building, including multiple units on all floors, hallways, and common areas, as well as infiltrating fire detection equipment and other electrical outlets and conduit (which is a major safety concern) which has led to [a] very large number false alarms. The inspections also identified rooms with heavy debris, food waste, and clutter which can act as harborage and feeding areas for these insects."

            An exterminator recommended treatment "with both a liquid and heat extermination program. The building will need to be de-cluttered, cleaned, and un-occupied for this program to be fully and properly performed," the Facebook post states.

            Since April 26, 2018, after a structural fire caused extensive damage to a large portion of the property, the owner has allegedly undertaken minimal renovations to this section of the building, which remained unoccupied.

            One woman died and three others suffered minor injuries in the blaze, which displaced 100 residents, according to borough Fire Marshal Doug Wilhelm. He estimated that the incident caused around $200,000 in damages.

            "This was a severe fire," Wilhelm said three years ago of the incident, which attracted the response of 30 fire companies from Bucks, Montgomery, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

            A news conference about the closing was scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday on the steps of the borough hall, located at 35 North Third St. in Quakertown.

            The hotel was built in the late 1850s along Front Street by Thomas A. Snyder and named the Quakertown Station Hotel.  A few years later, it was purchased by William A. Bush who renamed it the Bush House Hotel.

            In 1884, Henry Souder purchased the structure. He enlarged the hotel along Broad Street and added the observation tower. During the early part of the last century, it was regarded as the most commodious hotel between Allentown and Philadelphia.


 

 

 

 

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