The majestic structure that houses The Old Woman’s Club of Jacksonville will sadly have to be demolished due to a termite infestation. After meticulously examining the building, officials came to the conclusion that it must be torn down to prevent possible damage to surrounding buildings. The board of trustees of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens spent eight months trying to ascertain whether the destruction was completely necessary. The termites had spent years feasting on the structure, and they were not just any termites. The Formosan Subterranean Termite turned out to be the gluttonous culprit.
A variety of different experts were brought in to examine the slowly disintegrating structure including a professor of wood science from Louisiana State University, which is a field of science that I did not know existed. An entomologist was also brought in to compare notes with the wood expert. The building may look durable, but despite the building’s brick outer layer, the supporting structures are largely comprised of wood. Despite the unfortunate destruction of a historical building, the man who decided to study wood for several years presumably felt validated in his academic decision.
Is there any way a structure can be saved once it has become infested by termites?