Two houses that Galloway has acquired recently, however, were notoriously derelict--the two houses on Fifth Street just north of the Armory. Their previous owners wanted them gone but apparently not enough to pay for professional demolition. Periodically it would be reported that they had been seen trying to dismantle the houses themselves. They even tried to get the fire department to set fire to them and use them for fire fighter training.
In 2004, the City decided to seize the buildings by eminent domain. That effort was successful, but the City was required to pay the owners the appraised value of the houses, and nothing had been budgeted for the acquisition. In 2006, during Round I of Restore New York Community Initiatives, the City partnered with Eric Galloway and Henry van Ameringen to write a grant application for funds to restore the two houses and build one of Galloway's signature Greek Revival houses behind them, facing Prospect Street. Unfortunately, the project wasn't funded, and the next year the city attorney failed to file a document in a timely fashion, the houses were returned to their abusive owners, and the City was forced to pay the owners' legal fees.
The houses are situated in a locally designated historic district, so before work proceeds much further, the project will have to go before the Historic Preservation Commission for a certificate of appropriateness. Fortunately, there is good photographic evidence of what the houses looked like in their prime. There's the photograph from the 1930s that appears at the beginning of this post and the one below, discovered by Lisa Durfee and published on her blog The Tainted Lady Lounge.