January 22, 2015 |
With the crack of metal against wood, and a rumble that briefly shook the sidewalk, the ornate molding that pointed skyward from the roof of the Louis Street house disappeared Tuesday morning into the jaws of an excavator's bucket. Within an hour, most of the building was on the street in a pile of bricks and debris, soon to be hauled away. The long-vacant house at 1510 Louis in Camden's Whitman Park neighborhood, one of many that officials say have harbored crime over the years, was gone by Tuesday afternoon.
December 31, 2014 |
The terra-cotta roof and sprawling stone building are iconic in Chester, a sign on East Ninth Street of the city's prosperous past. The red wooden doors of the 120-year-old building are now warped, and its windows are boarded up. The historic Third Presbyterian Church could face the wrecking ball - unless a local preservation group is able to save it and raise enough money to restore it. To the Presbytery of Philadelphia, the building is...
October 26, 2014 |
Donning a hard hat, Temple University Health System president and chief executive Larry Kaiser watched Friday as demolition workers pried out the 84-year-old cornerstone box - a time capsule of sorts - from behind the cornerstone of the Old Medical School Building. The handsome but obsolete edifice at Broad and Ontario Streets, dedicated in 1930, is cordoned off and vacant, and will soon be razed. No one knew what was in the tin container, a bit bigger than a toolbox. "This could be like Al Capone's vault," Kaiser quipped, referring to Geraldo Rivera's much-hyped, live-on-TV opening of one of the gangster's secret vaults.
October 15, 2014 |
Within a two-block stretch of Sheridan Street in Camden, 13 homes have boarded-up windows and bright-orange Department of Public Works stickers marking them for a demolition day that has yet to come. "I face four of them," said Valerie Roberts, 26, who grew up in the neighborhood and now lives on the 1200 block. "I would love to see them come down. They've been like that 15, 20 years, though. " For decades, Camden's 77,250 residents have lived among vacant dwellings, which drive down property values, harbor crime, and create upkeep nightmares for residents whose homes are attached to crumbling structures.
July 24, 2014 |
MORE THAN a year after a botched demolition on Market Street turned tragic, the official death toll may go up by one. Six people died and 14 more were injured in the immediate aftermath of the June 5, 2013, catastrophe, in which an unsupported wall from the demolition site fell onto an open Salvation Army store next door and crushed those inside. Yesterday, the widow of Danny Johnson, a shopper who was trapped under the rubble and died 23 days later, filed a wrongful-death suit against the property owner, contractor, architect and excavator operator of the demolition, as well as the Salvation Army.
June 22, 2014 |
It was lunchtime, and the building - a long-vacant Blockbuster Video store on Route 38 in Cherry Hill - had been nearly razed to make way for a new Super Wawa. But things went awry at 12:31 Friday, when a cinder block wall and a metal roof collapsed during the demolition, killing one worker and sending another to the hospital. The dead worker was a male day laborer who had been employed by a subcontractor for just two weeks, federal officials said Friday night. An official with knowledge of the accident said the victim was evidently inside what remained of the building even as its walls were being knocked down.
June 6, 2014 |
In North Camden, five men made their way down State Street on Wednesday morning, taking the city's problem of abandoned properties into their own hands, one building at a time. Broken windows and doors were replaced with sturdy boards decorated with painted foliage. Red flowers were planted along the sidewalk. Those in the group, all but one of whom live within a few blocks of where they were working, had jobs to keep them occupied and help pay the bills. "I feel like I'm cleaning up the city, giving it a better name," said Jose Porrata Jr., who lives around the corner.
May 24, 2014 |
Incomplete, inaccurate, or nonexistent data on privately contracted demolitions suggest that the city is not any safer than it was on June 5, when the collapse of a Center City building being razed resulted in the deaths of six people, the City Controller's Office announced Thursday. In a 31-page audit of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, Controller Alan Butkovitz slammed the agency for what he described as an ongoing "culture of informality" that "jeopardizes public safety.
May 23, 2014 |
ARE PHILADELPHIA'S demolition procedures significantly safer today than before the June building collapse at 22nd and Market streets that killed six people inside a Salvation Army thrift shop? The Department of Licenses & Inspections says yes. But City Controller Alan Butkovitz says L&I records are such a mess that it's difficult to know. Yesterday, Butkovitz released a blistering audit that alleged a "culture of informality" within L&I, which he said kept shoddy records and waived demolition-inspection requirements without explanation.
May 1, 2014 |
STRAWBERRY MANSION Two demolition workers in Strawberry Mansion were injured Tuesday when struck by a piece of brownstone that fell from a rowhouse next to a building they were bringing down, officials said. Two of the workers demolishing 3026 W. Diamond St. - owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority - were leaving the site about 10:30 a.m. for a break when a piece of brownstone from 3028 W. Diamond fell on them, said Scott Mulderig, director of L&I's emergency services division.