Last week we told you about several historic 19th century row-buildings that suffered a roof collapse and are now slated for demolition. Then, we suggested clearing out the damaged areas and leaving the facades standing in hopes of future redevelopment. These are, after all, important though austere urban buildings in a part of town increasingly looking like Detroit.
While some may say it’s idealistic to suggest real investment in the Russell neighborhood, we suggest looking at its proximity to downtown: less than a mile. You can walk there. And there are millions of dollars being invested in the area from small renovation projects to the African American Heritage Center, to the Ouerbacker House. That’s the neighborhood we’re talking about: historic, walkable to downtown, and cheap. Many of its great historic buildings could be renovated fairly easily, too, for much cheaper than building new.
We’re getting a little off-subject. The point is that this wouldn’t be the first facade-ectomy (it’s a real word) in the area. Just down the street from the demolition candidates sit a couple of buildings that on first glance look like your typical boarded up variety. Peaking through the dirty windows, though, reveals there isn’t actually a building back there. Just grass and weeds. (The tall building is missing its cornice, too).
These buildings are near the corner of West Market Street and 15th Street. You can’t get much close to downtown without being downtown, yet you’d have no idea there were billions of dollars being invested in an area just five or six blocks away. Many buildings are needless coming down in this area. Keep what we have to we can redevelop more easily in the future.
- West Market Street (Google Maps / Street View)
- Demo Watch: West Market Street Buildings Partially Collapse, To Be Demolished (Broken Sidewalk)