Construction Work That Caused Downtown D.C. Building Collapse Was Not Permitted | NBC4 Washington

Construction Work That Caused Downtown D.C. Building Collapse Was Not Permitted

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    D.C. officials determined underpinning work performed without a permit caused buildings including a strip club to partially collapse May 2.

    Police initially responded to the corner of 4th and K streets NW for an internal building collapse. One of the buildings involved was The Cloakroom, an "adult entertainment" venue, sending employees, dancers and a few customers outdoors.

    About an hour later, a News4 camera caught the third floor of The Cloakroom as it collapsed, sending hundreds of bricks onto the sidewalk. No one was seriously injured.


    The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) received a report from structural engineers who assessed the damage surrounding the building collapse. After reviewing that report along with DCRA’s observations and analysis at the site, DCRA concluded that the collapse was attributable to the underpinning work.

    However, no permit was issued for that underpinning design, so the work was not authorized by the District.

    Legal action is under consideration by DCRA, but the agency cannot provide further comment on it until a final decision is made on what legal action or actions will be taken.

    According to DCRA, workers on Bobcats were performing foundation work when the buildings collapsed. Officials told News4 buildings should be vacant when that type of work is being conducted. 

    The building had previously housed Louis' Rogue Club, which closed in 2011 for renovations.

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