BREAKING NEWS: The blighted houses at 4817 and 4815 Greene Street at the corner of W Rockland will be torn down effective immediately!
One orange shirt. Two orange shirts. A white shirt. Jeans. Quite a few folks. People that aren’t our neighbors. A few pickup trucks and cars. There’s a crowd growing in our vacant lot on the corner of Greene and W Rockland Street. Some have surveying equipment. Down to the lot. Down to the lot. We have to get down to the lot. Pause while we hold our collective breath. The decree is in. The Mayor of Philadelphia wasn’t kidding when he said, “We are going to help your block.” The blighted houses at 4817 and 4815 Greene Street will be torn down effective immediately! The work is scheduled to start tomorrow afternoon on Friday, June 2, 2011. Yes, the Nutter administration gets it in on weekends!
For years now, these two abandoned houses have towered over our Germantown neighborhood, looking down on passersby with shattered windows and gaping holes. Overtime, the three-story properties became the site of illegal dumping, drug use and vagrant activity and also a lovely home for a growing population of neighborhood raccoons.
These houses have long plagued our community. Their history dates back many, many years. The properties were destroyed by a raging fire over 20 years ago (we think). The third house, now the vacant corner lot W Rockland Street residents have been working to maintain, was annihilated by flames and leveled long ago. The exact date of the fire is unknown. It’s impact, incorrigible. The original property owners of all three houses, long gone.