However, we know that once an area becomes a hot spot for illegal dumping, it's hard to keep it from devolving back into a trash heap once it has been cleaned.
The Marquis applauds the Streets Department's City Wide Cleaning unit for taking care of this area.
Now, let's keep it that way!
THAT SMELLS TROUBLE: You can smell the condemned house at 51st Street and Wyalusing Avenue before you even see it.
A neighbor said the property has been through multiple fires - the scorched back of the dilapidated dwelling proves it - and passers-by have no problem using this shell of a house as a trash can.
The overgrown lawn looks more like a forest, strewed with empty takeout containers, condom wrappers, loose bricks and even a cat lying sprawled across the concrete steps.
I may never know whether the cat was alive or dead - the smell emanating from the house of horrors was enough for the Marquis to keep a safe distance.
A retired neighbor who lives nearby said she'd called L&I, City Council representatives and others about the problem and had essentially gotten nowhere.
She asked the Marquis why the city won't just tear the building down.
It's because there are more than 40,000 vacant properties in the city, and each one costs about $23,000 to demolish, said Maura Kennedy, an L&I spokeswoman.
The city has enough money to demolish only 500 of the problem properties, she said, or less than 1 percent of the overall vacant buildings.
"People need to realize if you own property in the city of Philadelphia it's your responsibility to maintain it," Kennedy said. "The city wants to work with neighbors and residents to hold people accountable that these properties belong to."
Well, this one has belonged to Terrence and Mayona Gaffney since 1998, according to city property records.
The phone number associated with their names is disconnected - but the Marquis is going to check back with L&I to try tracking them down.