The small town of Norway, Maine was once the hub of American snowshoe manufacturing and, like many other Maine towns, was a booming industrial center for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Despite its small size, it boasts cultural and civic infrastructure that rival much larger cities with larger populations.
However, Norway’s impressive infrastructure, much of which was built in the era when asbestos was still a popular building material, is now deteriorating with age. The town’s Opera House, which was built in 1894, is currently undergoing a renovation after it was abandoned in 2007 when part of the structure’s roof collapsed. Given the age of the building, it should come as no surprise that any remaining asbestos materials in the structure must be removed before the restoration can take place.
According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, local architect Jake Keeler said some of asbestos materials had been found in the first-floor storefronts of the Main Street building.
“Several basement spaces have mold and asbestos, as well as some flooring materials,” he said. “The actual material that makes up the storefronts was not found to contain such materials, but various interior spaces were.”
The dangers associated with asbestos have been documented for generations. It is the most common cause of mesothelioma, as well as other diseases such as asbestosis.
The Sun Journal reports that when the three-story brick Opera House was taken by the town using eminent domain in 2010, the building’s owner Bitim Enterprises was compensated with $185,000. Two of the six storefronts had been vacated when the roof collapsed. The other storefronts have been empty for years.
If you have been exposed to asbestos – whether in a theater or through more common means like factory work, call our convenient toll-free number 888-360-4215 to speak with a consultant today regarding a mesothelioma lawsuit.