Owner trying to save crumbling historic East St. Louis building

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) - Historic Collinsville street in East St. Louis is very close to losing one of its most controversial buildings. Now trees are even growing out of the rundown structure. At one time the Murphy Building was booming with business. But it has been pretty much dormant since the early 80's. The city is trying to tear it down even as the owner fights to protect it.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks says the 106 year old building has been a serious health concern for 30 years. Specifically the last 5-6 years with bricks falling on the sidewalk.

They authorized it's demolition and began beating it down last week. Building owner Kimberly Williams, who purchased the property 10 years ago at the St. Clair County Auction for $750 says she has not been given her due process in court to save the structure.

Williams, who grew up in East St. Louis on 85th street, says she was served this summons to demolish the building in December.  She answered it in January and didn't hear anything back from the court until they started tearing it down last Wednesday.

Right now the city is on the hook for $450,000 to eradicate what they call the public safety hazard. That charge will go to Williams, and a tax lien has been placed on the property. She is hoping to get a hearing and an injunction Tuesday in St. Clair County Court.  If not, the Murphy building will be gone before the month is over.