History Of Sinking Homes

Posted: February 14, 2012

* The Valentine's Day explosion - On Feb. 14, 1986, a gas explosion on 10th Street near Courtland that damaged four homes alerted city officials that there were serious problems with the houses sinking into the ground in an area that became known as the Logan Triangle.

An engineering study later found that 957 houses in a 17-block, 35-acre parcel on the north side of Roosevelt Boulevard were sinking because they had been built in the 1920s in an unstable landfill of ash and cinder.

* Imminent danger - In September 1986, residents of 23 homes were told to move out within 24 hours because their homes were in "imminent danger of collapse." The city later retracted the 24 hours. An additional 56 homes were found to be in "dangerous" condition.

The city used $35 million, mostly federal money, to buy and demolish about 900 homes and to pay relocation costs for residents, as well as for environmental remediation.

* The 10-year exodus - Cecily Peterson-Mangum, of the Logan Community Development Corp., said that it took more than 10 years to relocate most of the people living in the Logan Triangle.

* What's next? - In recent years, a number of proposals have been floated to redevelop the area, including a supermarket, senior housing and shopping malls. One plan for housing fell through. But just over a year ago, officials from the Redevelopment Authority were pointing to the idea of green space for recreation and maybe even a tree farm.

- Valerie Russ

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