Friday, March 12, 2010

What If . . .

Last month, after I had reported on the unauthorized demolition at State and Seventh streets and Jamie Larson picked up the story in the Register-Star, a woman named Lori Zito wrote a letter to the editor thanking Peter Wurster for "doing his job" and asking me and the Historic Preservation Commission if we would "be able to live next door to a building that was clearly fallen [sic] apart on a daily basis."

I was reminded of a time--ten or so years ago--when Phyllis Herbert, who lived at 114 Warren Street, complained to the code enforcement officer, to the Common Council, to the mayor, about the dangerous state of the building next door to her house. Bricks were falling from the building's facade, and Phyllis warned that it was a public safety hazard. Nothing was done.

The building ended up being seized by the city for back taxes and sold to someone who failed to carry out his plans to restore it. Eventually, however, it was purchased by Juan Carretero and David Osborn, who restored the crumbling house and the adjoining house beautifully. If demolition had been the only solution to the problem, the 100 block of Warren Street would be missing this magnificent row of very Georgetown-like townhouses.

1 comment:

  1. Carole,
    Thanks for this bit of history. We (Karen Davis and I) bought 114 and moved in last June. We have been catching up on Phyllis Herbert and other history of the street since then.

    It does seem terribly important that we preserve the integrity of Warren St. The current proposal to build SRO housing at Fifth and Warren seems to be a possible new example of not taking care of the the street. It seems terribly improbable that a large SRO will be built in a fashion that complements the street. Without knowing this developer, but knowing the general propensities of developers to do the best and cheapest, I would not be hopeful.

    Thanks again.
    Mark Orton