Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Poorly Converted Duplex Meets the Backhoe of Doom

Guest post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

Yet another piece of substandard housing has bit the dust today. 917-919 26th Ave N met the backhoe of doom and few if any mourned its passing. I, for one, had mixed feelings. Clearly this house was not long for this world and needed to be demolished. But the final two photos show a front porch that was closed in and covered (VERY poorly, it appears) with stucco. My guess is that was done to maximize square footage so that the place could be converted into yet another slummy duplex.

And how do I know it was slummy? I suppose because...

The final photo shows house numbers just PAINTED on the stucco, like a 3rd-grader's wobbly cursive. It almost makes you long for a sharpie.

I also have to appreciate the sign that remained up until the demolition, in hopes that someone would come along with $500 down and $200 a month to buy this pile of rubble. But no one was that foolish.

Even though this was a property that had long been viewed as an appropriate demolition, a little part of me mourned its passing. From the looks of it, at one point the house WAS nice. Did a slumlord come along and parse it into a duplex poorly? Was it, as some folks in Hawthorne have said happened shortly after WWII, a family that converted it so that two generations could live there for a while? Even if we don't know its whole story, can we learn from our mistakes that led to the demolition of this structure and so many others like it? Let's hope so.

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