Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wrecking Cincinnati, 7/1/08

Nursing home
DOB: 1917
Died: June 2008
Cause of death: Vacant and open to trespassers. Some weeds. The City ordered the building barricaded in March 2007. There were no other code violations. Another senseless demolition. The building was owned by Suburban Nursing & Mobile Homes, 5710 Wooster Pike, Suite 122, Cincinnati, OH 45227. You may remember that they are the same owners as the demolished Avondale home posted yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see its gone from Harrison Ave.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree. If you spent enough time in Westwood, you'd know it needed to go. No one was going to come along anytime soon to rehab this mess. It was more than just a few weeds. I would love to see places like this renovated, but in some areas they just need to go.

As sad as it is to say, an empty grass yard at this spot is preferable to what was there. While there are many other properties I could point out along Harrison and Queen City Avenues that needed to be razed before this, this place needed to go.

Until the city decides to stop pandering to its lowest common denominator, places like this will be torn down and not saved/restored -- it's the lesser of two evils.

Kevin LeMaster said...

Could you who live in the neighborhood give some insight into the problems with the property. There seem to have been no real code violations - certainly not enough to warrant razing the building and leaving a vacant lot.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a nice house in the picture. Doesn't even look too much like a nursing home. What was really wrong with it? Will be interesting to know.

Anonymous said...

I live in Westwood and would see this place almost daily.

While not the most unsightly building in town (or on that stretch of Harrison Ave) -- it didn't look nearly as "nice" as it does in the photograph you're using from the HC Auditor's (Dusty) site.

The lot was quite overgrown and some sort of water pipes/pump near the sidewalk (you can see it in the Google maps streetview photo) was leaking alot of water.

It is near a very stately home that has tried desperately to hang on to some faded elegance while being surrounded by Section 8 apartments (bus routes tend to do that to places), and was apparently a frequent source of vandalism and trespassing.

Again, not the worst building on the block, but considering the neighborhood and the lack of attention paid to this important city corridor, it was just one more in a string of buildings that is better off being gone than being allowed to rot. That's sad, but unless we're posting police/private security guards on the property, who is going to look after it? The owners clearly didn't care -- and should be held accountable in any way possible for allowing 2 once beautiful Cincinnati properties to fall into ruin.

Paul Wilham said...

There is a bigger issue involved here. The city seems to be systematically tearing down properties that don't meet the legal definition of condemmed. It is far more difficult to bring back a neighborhood with hundreds of vacant lots,look at Detroit for an example of how wholesale demolition destroyed a city. I've restored far worse. Someone has an agenda here, we just dont know what it is and tearing down historic homes bothers me.

Paul Wilham said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Congrats on the house closing in Cincinnati; if we had more folks like yourself perhaps so much history would not be lost.

Sadly, there aren't enough people like you around. And while I agree that tearing down properties isn't the best answer in many cases, sometimes it is.

The neighborhood of Westwood has several strong community organizations, and all of them recommended that this property be torn down in hopes of bringing more single-family homeowners into the neighborhood.

Sadly, Cincinnati has driven the majority of its "economically disadvantaged" residents to the west side of town; Westwood in particular has suffered from such wretched initiatives as HUD's HOPE garbage.

Unlike where I'm originally from (New Jersey), there just isn't enough "money" in Cincinnati to restore all the historic buildings that need saving. That's why I get so incensed about the immature voices forcing a streetcar down our throats -- I say take that money and direct it toward the rehabilitation of buildings such as this one.

Cincinnati could be a mecca of beautifully restored historic structures, but in the short time I've been here it seems like they just can't get their act together. If they'd stop perpetuating poverty with so many social services and handouts and actually begin concentrating on helping those who DO want to STAY here and DO want to improve their neighborhoods and see the city thrive (read: those of us with jobs who pay taxes and own homes) they might actually get somewhere.

I haven't given up hope -- I'm just not going to hold my breath, either. It's the challenge of a lifetime -- but one that can be met if we work together to do so.

Kevin LeMaster said...

Paul, again the City did not tear this down. The owners did, on their own dime.

But...I will say that I appreciate the idea that the neighborhood's residents don't want a property to sit around and rot.

However, an abundance of vacant lots are a signal of disinvestment.

I have heard from Westwood Concern, etc., who wanted the several buildings torn down (and got City demo funds to do so) that they want to get these lots cleared for redevelopment.

Ain't gonna happen. There's no demand for infill along these corridors. If anything, I fear that a culture of demolition and vacant lots is going to drive investors away, not in.

Kevin LeMaster said...

Oh...and agreed, Paul. Congrats on your new home. I'm still trying to figure out exactly where it is from the pic you posted on your blog. You say it's a Second Empire?

Anonymous said...

What to do about it, then? I guess it's which is the lesser of two evils? Sort of like most presidential campaigns in my lifetime.

Do you leave an empty building to crumble and attract squatters, crime, and vandalism? Or do you tear it down, clear the lot, plant grass, and hope that someone will want to build new single-family housing in its place?

What really irritates me about this particular property is that there are buildings along this strip that are much more in need of removal than this one was. Buildings that never should have been allowed in the first place.

Cincinnati can't keep its public pools open, can't keep it's streets well-paved (we frequently joke about how much better the roads would be if Cinti only had the "mob" getting all the road maintenance contracts like they do in NJ ;-) -- and can't keep buildings like this (and so many others) from falling into disrepair. There's just not enough money here now -- and no one is going to want to ride a streetcar without a destination.

Fix the infrastructure, restore the architecture, and then build your streetcar so people will actually have a reason to ride it.

Sorry for moving "off-track" of the topic ;-) End mini-rant.