Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mayor Mallory, just why are you bulldozing my neighborhood?

I would like to know what the "agenda" of the Mayor and city council has concerning my neighborhood. There is no logical reason why this house should have been bulldozed. I've seen this house, I've looked at it, I was familiar with it and there was nothing that would preclude its restoration. In fact previous owners had started restoration and simply ran out of money. Aside from the architectural interest it had amazing original woodwork and plaster.

How does taking a bulldozer to this house "help" my neighborhood and more importantly how does it help the city? This house restored would have been assessed at about 200K, people would have lived in it, spent money in the local economy. The vacant lot that remains will likely sit that way for decades, not contributing to the taxbase.

The city has been systematically bulldozing the lower end of Knox street and Waverly for some time. What is the hidden agenda? What is the plan? Do we the residents get a voice?
Some houses are too far gone to save, but not this house. What the city called 'blight' , we call opportunity. Opportunity to restore a historic home, make it a place where people want to live.

So Mr. Mayor lets talk about your plans. Although I am sure you won't respond probably delegating that authority to one of your 'staff puppets' or maybe Ed Cunningham, a decent guy who often gets 'stuck' with running interference for your policies.

These houses area all "view' lots. You have these on the demo hearing list on lower Knox. Note the intact cornice work, a pristine example of Cincinnati tinwork and part of a row of houses. Take the siding off and redo the facades and you have two nice homes. You could even add a second story on the back for master suites and have a rooftop deck.The VIEW is incedible from the front with the city in the distance. The city just bulldozed a restorable Second Empire a few doors done. So what is the deal? Some developer looking for land to build luxury condos or are we just keeping our friends in the demo business busy?

This is one of the impending demo houses. Will likely be gone in a few weeks. I will admit it doesn't look like much to you. I see a rare form of second empire cottage with a front gable . There is a very nice one being restored over on Dayton Street. You apparently want this one down so bad you are willing to tear down a historic retaining wall to knock this one down. So this one restored wouldn't be worth more than a vacant lot? Perhaps you'd like to go down the street to see my Second Empire cottage which I am sure the assessor will assess at over 250 K when we are done with it.

How about this one? A Brick shotgun cottage from about 1900? Notice the patterned brick and the elaborate chimney work, the arched door? Architecturally its one of a kind. Its certainly not going to fall down. Would not the city efforts be better spent to get he owner to repair it OR maybe the city could acquire it and resell it to someone who would like to restore it?

This "may be" the most tragic potential loss of all. This circa 1898 commercial storefront building at the corner of Fairmount and Thompson. The ONLY commercial building in our entire neighborhood. A rapidly disappearing architectural form not just in Cincinnati, but the entire nation. American "corner store' architecture. Wouldn't this make a nice community center for our neighborhood? Our neighborhood organization would be happy to have it.I know two people who would love to own this and restore it. Why the city would even consider destroying what could be a key anchor to the community is amazing to me. What is next? The church down the street?

So what is the hidden agenda Mr Mayor? I'd really like to know why you are bulldozing my neighborhood. We don't want it bulldozed, we want to restore it. You can not have a neighborhood if there is no place to live? I would be more than happy to print WORD for WORD any thing coming directly from you and I welcome the comments of any city council member, just hit the comment button!


Bob said...

And yet the f*cking Irish Cliffs are still standing.

Paul, I really don't think the people in this city get it. And it's a tragic shame because it means the loss of some of the finest vintage homes our country has to offer.

Where is Roxanne Qualls, chair of the "Vibrant Neighborhoods" Committee? What is her response to your questions?


I'm about to give up hope for this place, cut my losses, and move on if they don't show some signs of understanding what is really important -- and what really makes Cincinnati unique among Midwestern cities.

Paul Wilham said...

MY understanding is that Bank and city are involved in litigation over who ACTUALLY ownes it, seems the bank doesnt want to take possession because of the liability if its torn down. No One at the city will talk about where things are but it looks like the Cliffs demnolition will happen.

The lack of the city council on addessing the neighborhoods concerns is appalling. I supsect they are too busy collecting 62K a year for their "full time' job as city councilman?

We have a ton of money going into our neighborhood right now. Lot of people restoring their homes (mostly inside work, they are saving the outside stuff for last) But the "logic' that the city building inspections uses that its "too Blighted" and not cost effective for anyone to fix these proiperties no longer has validity.

The city would Love for Knox Hill Neighborhood Association to go away, I suspect the fairmount community councils wishes we were not around as we are becoming the voice in our community not them. WE are interested in restoration of our neighborhood not some new 'social program' to throw money at problems that wont be fixed.

BUT we are not going anywhere
and the thing these 'city council people' better understand is that at the rate its going if neighborhoods and preservationist vote in bloc they are ALL out of a job.