Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Architect and Engineer say property is sound

I have been speaking with historic preservation regarding the "demo spree" in our neighborhood and received this response regarding the brick shotgun featured on yesterdays blog post and I received the following info from Margo Warminski at CPA

BTW, an architect and an engineer on our Advocacy Committee looked at the cute brick shotgun and both said there was nothing wrong with it. And now it's been declared a nuisance.

So it appears that city building inspections can just "look" at a building and say "yep needs demo"? Far too often it would appear these demos are more because the city "thinks' it is not economically viable to fix and nobody would put that kind of money into "that' neighborhood.
As someone who bought a property that was on the city VBML list in this neighborhood I can tell them they are wrong! As someone who has personally saved at least six properties in the last 20 years that were scheduled for demo and advocated for others to save properties in countless cities,I can tell you that MOST houses can be saved, you have to know what you are doing and be willing to make the financial investment. There is over a million dollars of private investment going on in our neighborhood right now. Given some time every one of those houses can be saved and we can have a vibrant neighborhood.

Take a look at what you can do with a condemned property.This was headed for the bulldozer and today is the showplace on the block which is now restored as well. But without "vision" this would be in a landfill right now and a landmark 1885 Italiante with a one of a kind 'floating" staircase would have been lost forever! It has been cointributing a major amounta of proerty taxes since it was restored vs. virtually NONE had it been buldozed and a vacant lot in its place
Same with this wonderful house. Carved into 4 apartments everyone thought it should come down, it was a "nuisance". No one looking at it today would EVER suggest tearing it down. It is a great house that is occupied by a family, paying taxes, contributing to the betterment of the neighborhood. A vacant lot doesnt do that and that is something 'lost' on this mayor and this city council.

And that is my point! Just because the city doesn't have the vision, it doesn't mean the neighborhood doesn't have it. I FIRMLY believe there is a better fate for the brick shotgun that what the city would plan for it a bunch of brick in a landfill. We need to stop these planned demolitions NOW, step back and try to find solutions that will get these homes restored and back connntributing to city taxroles. We ALL win when that happens but we all lose when there is another vacant lot!
The response from the city council or the mayor has been one of TOTAL SILENCE on yesterday's blog.

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