Owners of the old Western Auto building began work Tuesday to restore the structure that was evacuated earlier this month by city officials over the fear of impending collapse.

Philadelphia Building Official Jay Eakes said that the first step was removing bricks from the outside facade of the roof. The building is situated between Church Avenue and Center Avenue across from The Citizens Bank.

“I have talked to the owner and he has had an engineer look at the building and they are going to move forward based on that engineer's recommendations,” Eakes said. “The building was shut down because we decided it was a danger to the public. I do not have a time frame for them to finish the work, but I do know that the property owners want to be back open for business as soon as possible.”

No injuries related to the precarious structure have been reported so far.

Parking spaces and sidewalks alongside the building have been roped off and blocked since April 8 when the status of the building was recognized by local officials.

Eakes said at the time that he was notified the Monday before the annual Ham Jam Festival after Philadelphia Fire Chief Pierce Clark drove by and noticed a shift where the brick meets the back of the Kademi building above the roof line.

“He noticed the building was in danger of collapsing while driving around yesterday and notified me,” Eakes said at the time.

Stitched Boutique and a dance studio were shut down out of safety concerns and have not been permitted to operate in that building since it was first cordoned off. 

Stitched Boutique has since moved its operation to a space on the south side of the Courthouse on the Square.