Mineola inspections to continue

  • The Mineola Hotel and Lounge was condemned April 14 after a Fox Lake building inspector was denied access to the upper floors and the north side of the facility. However, owner Pete Jakstas hired a certified structural engineer who inspected the facility and determined the Mineola was structurally sound. The business reopened to the public April 21.

    The Mineola Hotel and Lounge was condemned April 14 after a Fox Lake building inspector was denied access to the upper floors and the north side of the facility. However, owner Pete Jakstas hired a certified structural engineer who inspected the facility and determined the Mineola was structurally sound. The business reopened to the public April 21. Courtesy Village of Fox Lake

 
 
Updated 5/3/2011 4:04 PM

The Mineola Hotel and Lounge isn't out of the woods yet.

Fox Lake Building Commissioner Frank Urbina said Mineola owner Pete Jakstas has until Friday to open the closed northern half of the aging structure at 91 Cora Ave., or the building could be shut down again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Urbina said he and other officials toured the boarded-up second and third floors of the Mineola's southern section on April 27, and said the building was "in bad shape" due to deteriorating conditions. Now, they want to examine the entire northern section, which also is not occupied and was boarded up and blocked off years ago.

"We told Pete that we need to be able to inspect the northern half of the building," Urbina said. "We are hoping to get in there with his structural engineer this week for another tour."

Jakstas refused to comment about the inspections but said scheduling conflicts may make him unable to attend that inspection.

Urbina said the walkout basement and the first floor of the southern half of the Mineola are the only portions of the building that are open and used by customers.

This is the latest issue for the 135-year-old wooden structure on the shores of the Chain O' Lakes that has ties to the Al Capone-run mob, gambling, and prohibition.

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The building was condemned April 14 after a Fox Lake building inspector was denied access to the upper floors and the north side of the facility.

However, Jakstas hired a certified structural engineer who inspected the facility and determined the Mineola was structurally sound. The business reopened to the public April 21.

After it reopened, Urbina told Jakstas he wanted to do a thorough on-site inspection with the structural engineer. That tour would also include the previously walled off areas.

Urbina said he met with Jakstas for a tour of the upper two floors of the southern side, then requested a tour of the northern side.

"It was a cordial meeting to tour the facility," he said. "We just want to make sure the structure is safe."

Jakstas was also given a to-do list of items that must be fixed in the next 60 days. It includes repairing the roof, windows, and holes in the ceiling and replacing and repairing exterior wood trim.