Most residents of twin Surfside condo staying put after collapse

Champlain Towers North built using same materials, similar design; residents of newer Champlain Towers East express concerns
Champlain Towers North twin building to collapsed condominium, June 24, 2021
Posted at 9:54 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 12:00:09-04

SURFSIDE, Fla. — About a block from the Surfside beachfront condominium tower that collapsed sits its sister building.

It was erected a year later by the same company that built the Champlain Towers South, using the same materials and a similar design. It has faced the same tides and salty air.

Similar architecture between the Champlain sister towers
A photo illustration compares the similar architecture and highlights the near proximity of the sister Champlain Towers. The illustration also highlights the newer and architecturally different third building of the Champlain complex.

This has made some residents of Champlain Towers North worried enough to leave, though most have remained, saying they are confident their almost 40-year-old, 12-story building is better maintained.

Inspection of collapsed building pointed to problems, Champlain Towers South illustration
An earlier report of the Champlain Towers South condo uncovered cracking and spalling of concrete columns, beams and walls.

They said their building doesn't have the same problems with cracking in support beams and in the pool area that 2018 engineering reports show the south tower had.

But residents of Champlain Towers East are concerned about their own building's stability. Robert Lisman and Marta Castro live in Champlain Towers East, just one building down from the building that collapsed early Thursday.

They showed WPTV pictures of a crack in a column in the building's parking garage.

Lisman said the crack did not exist before the south tower collapsed. He brought it to the town's attention.

"Town officials confirmed there was no imminent danger," Lisman said.

His building was built in the early 1990s and doesn't show the wear and tear the south tower did before it fell.

Still, he's worried, especially after learning what engineers documented that they found in the south tower in 2018, but it didn't seem enough for town officials to act.