EVERETT — A 73-year-old piece of Everett’s working-waterfront history is falling apart and at risk of collapse.
On Sunday night, a security guard noticed a corner of the roof partially caved in at the former Nord Door warehouse building at 300 W. Marine View Drive. There was no one inside at the time, and no reported injuries.
The weight of the roof pushed the east wall about two feet out, but the building is no longer collapsing. If it did collapse, the roadway would be blocked by debris, city spokesperson Kathleen Baxter said.
It’s also on toxic land. The property is a state Department of Ecology clean-up site, with the presence of metals, petroleum and other toxic chemical compounds known to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive problems.
The Everett Fire Department condemned the 388,000-square-foot building several years ago because of its poor condition, she said. The building used to be part of the Nord Door company, which Jeld-Wen Inc. bought in 1986, then closed in 2005.
As a precaution Sunday, the city blocked travel in both directions. That was eased Monday morning to a closure of the adjacent stretch of sidewalk and the nearest southbound lane of the road.
The Snohomish County PUD shut off power to the site in case the wall’s collapse knocks down a power pole and wires, PUD spokesperson Aaron Swaney said.
Everett staff inspected temporary shoring to the building Tuesday, which allowed West Marine View Drive to reopen with no restrictions, Baxter said. The stretch of sidewalk will remain closed until the city’s building official approves a structural engineer’s report.
“We’re just being extra precautious at this point,” Everett Fire Marshal Kurtis Brown said Wednesday.
A backhoe held the north wall in place.
But the Mount Vernon-based property and building owner, W&W Everett Investments, will need to ensure the shoring is finished, city officials said. The company bought the property and buildings in 2013 from Jeld-Wen Inc. for $2.45 million. The 18.82-acre property is valued at more than $7 million, according to Snohomish County assessor records.
The E.A. Nord Co., often called Nord Door, was one of Everett’s major employers through the better part of the 1900s. Founded in 1924 by Eric Adolf Nord, a Swedish imigrant, the business by the 1960s became the world’s largest maker of paneled wood doors. His son, Robert William “Bob” Nord, took over when the elder Nord died in 1976.
A more than two-year-long strike preceded the company’s bankruptcy, which is how Jeld-Wen came to purchase it, according to state records.
The Port of Everett, which owns nearby tidelands and much of the waterfront property along West Marine View Drive, had concerns about road access if the building fell.
“Safety is our main concern,” spokesperson Cat Soper said in an email. “We’re relieved to know that no one was hurt with the roof collapse, but we remain concerned about any impacts to West Marine View Drive due to the instability of the building as this is a major access route to the Seaport and Navy base, as well as the recreational waterfront at the Marina. We hope active steps can be taken to mitigate that risk quickly.”
The nearby brick mid-century modern building that once housed Nord’s headquarters is considered “endangered” by Historic Everett, a group that works to preserve historically significant architecture in the city.
“We are concerned about the decline of this property, which is not being used, and is fenced off,” the group’s website reads.
But the warehouse was not of much interest to Historic Everett historian Jack O’Donnell.
“As far as the rest of it goes, the rest of it isn’t historic,” he said.