Harvard Avenue building's parapet collapses; two injured, one critically

Common Ground facade collapse in Allston

Firefighters at collapsed Harvard Avenue building. Photo by Allston Rat City.

Shortly before 3 p.m. about 40 feet of the facade at the Common Ground bar on Harvard Avenue collapsed to the ground. Firefighters who rushed to the scene reported one person critically injured, another person who was hurt by did not need hospitalization and six people trapped inside. Firefighters entered the rear of the building and evacuated them.

Christopher Arena photographed the scene from Brighton Avenue:

Facade collapse in Allston


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Not the first time this has happened in the area. I believe a much taller building on Huntington Ave. near Northeastern U had this happen several years ago. Probably quite a few buildings in the Boston area that are at risk for this happening. Scary.

Wow that is terrible

Wonder if the damage from the plow could've contributed to the parapet failing years later.

Also couldn't find any follow up to the original case, I wonder how much the slap on the wrist stung for that driver?



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I feel terrible for all of the people injured, and in particular for the person that was critically injured. This reminds me of Milena Del Valle, who was killed by the falling panel in the Pike tunnel under South Boston - the statistical chances of one being right there at the moment something like this happens have to be vanishingly small.

Also, as someone who used to frequent those parts (like many of us) and who has friends who worked at the door of CG, if this had happened about 18 hours earlier, you could have been talking about 20-30 people in this condition. Yikes.

The chances are indeed small but

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Probably a bit higher if you're a smoker standing outside a bar to get your nicotine fix. While Milena Del Valle was in the wrong place for maybe a second or a fraction of one, having a smoke in front of the bar probably means you're standing there for a few minutes.

God told my roommate's dad to quit smoking

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He headed out for a smoke break some years ago and was seriously injured when a part of the industrial building he worked in cut loose and fell on him.

He wasn't allowed to smoke in the hospital or rehab, either.

Guy probably lived longer for it - he was completely traumatized and never wanted a smoke again.

Although I can't find it

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Although I can't find it online, I remember quite clearly the same thing happening on a very similar building in Fields Corner maybe 10 years ago. Thankfully nobody was hurt that time. Century old overhanging heavy masonry + lots of rain seem to be the culprit in both cases.

Bad Roofing

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What often happens to cause these collapses is bad roofing material. Owners who redo the roof to fix leaks or other wear issues use tar or vinyl sheeting rather than metal cladding where the parapet joins the roof. But when the tar or vinyl wears it frequently tears right at the junction. This then lets water in which weakens the bonding material for the parapet wall.

Why dont they start

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Why dont they start reinforcing these situations with metal braces . Most of these similar constructed buidings are ticking time bombs in this regard . Think back to risk management, and while you are back there , where is Johhny D. now?