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Lviv falls apart: wall of ancient house collapses in downtown, hundreds of other may be next

Source : 112 Ukraine

The wall of Austria-Hungary time house collapsed in the downtown of Lviv, in a few streets from Rynok Square. Miraculously, nobody had been harmed. The event clearly showed that Lviv stands on the brink of catastrophe. Owing to the indifference of Sadovyi Mayor Office, at least one hundred buildings in the historical center of Lviv are in a state of disrepair as Lviv MPs stated. It is an issue, which should be solved in days, not months when the valuable landmarks will begin to fall. It is good if tourists, locals and children will not be found under their wreckage
18:12, 15 February 2019

Collapse of wall in downtown of Lviv
State Emergency Service of Ukraine

The wall of a three-story building, which arose at the time of Austro-Hungarian Empire, collapsed at Lychakivska Street 7, Lviv on Valentine's Day. The wall collapsed from the first up to the third floor. Now, there is a possibility of the fall of rest of the building: it has many dangerous elements, which can collapse any moment – hanging beams, unstable constructions. Bricks constantly peel from the ruins as Varta 1 reported. According to the agency, the flats in the building were rented to the tourists, who come for a few days trips to Lviv. A few families lived in this house constantly. Consequently, it is a miracle that nobody had been harmed.

Collapse of wall in downtown of Lviv
State Emergency Service of Ukraine

The building that collapsed was not a prominent historical landmark but it is an important part of the historical area, which consists of the territory of the city’s downtown; it was the important part of the architectural ensemble as ex-lawmaker of the City Council, Head of Lviv Department of “Svoboda” Lyubomyr Melnychuk reported to 112.ua.

According to him, Mayor Office of Andry Sadovy was well aware that the building was recognized as unsafe in 2015. However, it was exploited further and any repair works were held. “Now the city authority tries to shift the responsibility, trying to prosecute a person, who bought the dwelling units of the house at auction. However, the collapse took place at the non-residential premises, which should be bought by the city,” Melnychuk emphasized.

The unfortunate incident in Lviv is not the first one: it happens constantly due to the inaction of the municipality in the city center, which has tremendous historical value and is included in the UNESCO heritage. “This is definitely not a one-time occurrence. Every week in social networks you can find the mention of house façade collapse, or molding falling from the architectural monument in Lviv. Every day, the facade parts of Austro-Hungarian buildings fall on the heads of tourists, Lviv citizens, once you move a little further away from the Rynok Square,” the head of public council at the local State Architectural and Construction Inspection Volodymyr Benyo says. Such a situation negatively affects the touristic potential of the city.

Recently, a brick fence of Yanivsky cemetery, (founded in 1883), fell on Kyrylivska Street, which has been in an emergency state for years. "The fragments of the brick are lying on the graves. It had already been reported to “city hotline,” as Varta 1 agency says. "The housing sector of Lviv is now in a terrible state, disasters are constantly occurring in the city and as a result of this: on Tuesday a collector explosion took place on Ivan Franko Street, earlier the tourists were poisoned with carbon monoxide, a fire occurred at the Christmas fair,” as Melnychuk notes: “The situation is catastrophic. There are problems wherever you look. Except for PR, Lviv does not show good results in any other areas. There were good results in 2008, 2009, 2010 and in 2011.”

“Balconies, houses, faces are always collapsing in Lviv now. We see that the Mayor is dealing with national policy more than with his direct responsibilities,” Valeriy Veremchuk, the Head of People’s Control faction in Lviv Coty Council agrees.

The house on Lychakivska Street is not the only one in a state of disrepair. Officially, 22 buildings were recognized wrecking, but in reality, there are more – it is about hundreds of buildings, historical monuments are among them, as the interlocutors of 112.ua stated.

Sadovy’s city hall does not hurry to solve this problem.

“Andriy Ivanovych talks about the development of the city and says that he is the face of Lviv. Instead, if you go 10 meters away from the historical part, you can see the current horrible state of infrastructure and roads,” Veremchuk says.

The problem is unlikely to be solved soon. It requires a lot of money. And money should have been invested in the constructions in a state of despair long ago.

“We have not received any requests to allocate funds for a certain building from the officials in Lviv City Administration for three years now. When the executive authorities offer to allocate money for wrecking buildings, we do this,” Veremchuk told.

Lviv has huge debts – around $21,4 million in total. Veremchuk assured that the members of the City Council will examine the real state of affairs concerning the risk of buildings’ collapse because of long-term negligence of the city authorities. They will seek a solution together.

“People are desperate because Lviv is falling apart. Snow melted a bit, and we see a person, who could not provide good infrastructure in Lviv, yet who claims for presidency,” Benyo said.

If the city’s officials will not do anything about it, Lviv might lose its historical heritage, the downtown, which is a UNESCO monument, as the interlocutors stated. It will be great if they prevent catastrophe: death or injuries of the tourists, city residents, and children.

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