Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Demolition of 4011-21 Washington Proceeds

Demolition is began this week of the three homes on Washington that first caught my attention almost exactly a year ago. 4011 & 4021 had been bought by Saaman Corporation in late 2005 and 4019 in February 2006. All three had demolition permits applied for when I checked City records in early April 2006. When Alderman Terry Kennedy found out that the homes were to be demolished there were reports that he initially expressed a desire to have the homes rehabbed instead of demolished. Apparently Saaman was able to convince Kennedy that renovation was not feasible, and thus demolition moves forward.

This is an argument that would not be out of the realm of reality for Kennedy to believe, for as I mentioned in a post about the homes last year by Steve Patterson, two of the three were in pretty rough shape, and without historic tax credits, it could be tough to make the numbers work.

Here is the catch 22 though: Kennedy generally has not supported new historic districts or expansion of existing ones in his ward, because he claims that people on fixed incomes would be forced into spending more money to do improvements or renovations to their homes. What Kennedy fails to realize is that with historic district status, home owners can install better and more appropriate materials than they would ordinarily be able to afford because of the subsidy provided by the tax credit. Also, more historic districts would spur more rehabilitation of abandoned homes (such as the 3 on Washington) by developers because with the tax credits, the projects become profitable and desirable to do. It should be noted that according to City records, the estimated cost to demolish the three homes totals $72,500.00

Below are photos of the homes as they are being demolished taken yesterday morning and this evening. The scene of the three homes in a row in various stages of destruction reminds me of photos of areas near this block that were hit by a massive tornado in 1927.
4021 Washington
4019 Washington
4011 Washington

4011 was reduced to a rubble pile by this evening


Anonymous said...

It just makes you sick! Thanks for the updated photos Paul.

Sam, reporting from Jerusalem said...

I agree with you, its just absolutely depressing. To me its just insanity since there finally seems to be some signs of life around there.

Anonymous said...

This is an outrage!

Anonymous said...

Who is this Saaman? His new building are UUUUUGLY. Let's all boycott them! Nobody should even look at them!

Doug Duckworth said...

I saw the demolition as well. I am glad my camera isn't working because I simply would like to forget this happened.