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Eyesore

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NEWS
July 16, 1992 | By Jan Hefler, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A longstanding Riverton Borough eyesore - a vacant, crumbling house in the middle of the business district - was demolished Monday morning, much to the joy of the neighbors. Larry Gerlock, owner of Gerlock Construction Co. in Cinnaminson, said his excavator easily knocked down the three-story house at 604 Broad St. because the fire-ravaged building was "so ready to come down. " Called a "house of horrors" even by its owner, Robert Stelling, it was abandoned for 15 years and became a haven for animals, juveniles and vagrants.
NEWS
March 13, 1988 | By Karen K. Gress, Special to The Inquirer
The New Garden supervisors expect to receive a report tomorrow concerning complaints about a partly constructed house that neighbors have labeled an eyesore. At last week's meeting of the supervisors, 10 residents presented a petition of complaint requesting that action be taken against George Shell, a Hockessin, Del., man who began construction of the house nearly two years ago but never finished it. Shell reportedly built only the center segment of a three-section house. The petition asked board members to take action forcing Shell to either complete the house or tear it down.
NEWS
February 19, 1987 | By Theresa Conroy, Special to The Inquirer
The Plymouth Township Zoning Hearing Board has unanimously denied a request by a warehouse-plumbing business for outdoor storage of pipes at an industrial building at 1850 Gravers Rd. At their meeting Monday night, board members agreed with residents who said approval of the request, by Ferguson Enterprises Inc., would create an eyesore for the adjoining residential neighborhood. Representatives of the company said that it planned to occupy 16,000 of the building's 50,317 square feet but that to do so, it would have to store large pipes outside the building.
NEWS
September 3, 1988
Driving across the Ben Franklin Bridge and seeing the city's skyline arrayed before you makes a marvelous introduction to Philadelphia - a promise of urban excitement after an enervating journey through South Jersey's commercial sprawl. As new projects spring up along the waterfront, billboards disappear and Vine Street goes post-modern with sweeping ramps and new landscaping, that impression is bound to get even better. But let's face it, there is one eyesore at the very entrance to the city that acts as an immediate depressant, and nobody to date has done anything about it. That's because Isamu Noguchi's Bolt of Lightning . . . A Memorial to Benjamin Franklin falls into the untouchable realm of art. The 102-foot-high statue, for all the genius, money and good will that went in to its creation, looks like a crumpled piece of metal - less a salute to the great inventor than to the city's oversupply of litter.
NEWS
January 14, 2005 | By Michael Vitez INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mike Campbell is a true Eagles fan - goes to the game every Sunday. Winning a Super Bowl would be sweet, but what he really coveted was something, well, more moving - the ultimate tailgating vehicle. "For 20 years, we've been standing out in the cold, which we don't really mind," Mike said. "You learn how to dress as an Eagles fan. But we always wanted to take the next step. " Mike, 45, a union painter from Drexel Hill, had searched for years for just the right vehicle to convert into the Taj Mahal of tailgating.
NEWS
April 24, 1998 | By Laura J. Bruch, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For 10 weeks, the once-popular restaurant Under the Blue Moon has been boarded up with plywood, an out-of-place but defiantly not out-of-mind eyesore in the midst of thriving Chestnut Hill. Well, it's time to breathe easy all you aesthetes, Chamber of Commerce types and residents who did not particularly care for this symbol of controversy on the main street of your beloved neighborhood: The boards have finally come down. They came down yesterday in the rain at the say-so of Richard Snowden of Bowman Properties, after the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the variances he sought to renovate and enlarge his building at Germantown and Abington Avenues.
NEWS
November 12, 1989 | By Kathleen Martin Beans, Special to The Inquirer
Victoria Place was supposed to offer the ultimate in Bucks County condominium living - tall, turreted Victorian-style buildings clustered around brick courtyards that featured iron gate entrances and elaborate shrubbery. A swimming pool, tennis courts, jogging trail and clubhouse were all part of the plan for this private community on York Road in Jamison, Warwick Township. It was, as advertisements proclaimed, "destined to be a legend in its own time," ushering in "a sophisticated new lifestyle . . . above the rolling hillsides of Bucks County.
NEWS
March 22, 1996
Until last week, when it landed in the middle of a Democratic primary fight, the wretched, eight-story eyesore at 210 N. 13th St., was just another piece of the blight that lamentably surrounds Philadelphia's brave, new Convention Center. It was once a printing house. But for years now, the building has been a dangerous derelict - its lower windows sealed with raw plywood, its upper windows blowing out now and then, raining glass on passersby. The building is owned by a partnership that includes Rep. Tom Foglietta, Democratic congressman from the First District.
NEWS
May 15, 1988 | By S. E. Siebert, Special to The Inquirer
A house that had been considered an eyesore by residents is due for a face lift after two additions to the structure were approved by the Lower Moreland Zoning Hearing Board. During its meeting Wednesday night, the board voted, 2-0, to approve plans by Gail and Bruce Blum to build an addition to their house in the 500 block of Pinney Road. The hearing had been continued from last month to allow the Blums to submit updated plans. Board member Ronald Simpson did not vote because he did not attend the April hearing.
NEWS
April 15, 1993
If the city suffers actively from abuses committed against its property and public spaces, it suffers a more passive aggression, too: The assault by untended property itself. It suffers when buildings are neglected or boarded up, as are prime Center City properties held by speculator Sam Rappaport. And it suffers daily from its towering eyesore - One Meridian Plaza, the still-closed skyscraper next to City Hall. As we've said before, the fire that ravaged One Meridian's upper stories was put out the day they launched the ground war in Operation Desert Storm, which provides something of a contrast in the Overcoming Obstacles Dept.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
December 3, 2013
AFTER READING your article titled "Growing Pane: L&I to court over Scientologists' blight," I have just one question. If you are going to sue someone for the building they own being boarded up and abandoned - and to quote Paul Levy, president of the Center City District, "It's not only not contributing to the street and acting to the detriment to the city, it's also not a tax revenue" - then why not pick one of the thousands of buildings all throughout the...
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2013 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Kimberly Mathis put up with plenty when the public-housing tower that shadows her little Germantown street was inhabited, but things got worse after the Philadelphia Housing Authority emptied the apartments in 2011 in preparation for demolition. The drug dealers, who had done a brisk trade inside the Queen Lane high-rise, quickly shifted business to the sidewalks below. They even dragged a set of bleachers to a spot across from Mathis' house, which she bought from Habitat for Humanity and shares with a disabled daughter.
NEWS
November 2, 2012
DEAR HARRY: My parents were married for 60 years and raised six children and three grandchildren in our home in North Philly. It was where we all went for a cooked meal, fruit, sweets and love. They saw the good in everyone. The house burned down earlier this year, taking my mother and my great-niece. We hired a contractor to take down the remainder of the house. He did some of the work, then seemed to disappear. I still visualize my mother and the baby standing and crying for help.
NEWS
September 9, 2012 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Just over a month after Cooper Medical School of Rowan University opened, the Camden Redevelopment Agency has begun the process of removing one of the biggest eyesores in the school's Lanning Square West neighborhood. The agency's board of commissioners agreed Wednesday to pay $73,920 to demolish eight townhouses on Berkley Street between Fourth and West Streets. The properties have sat vacant and vandalized for more than a decade. The houses were among 28 developed in the late 1990s by the now-defunct Lanning Square West Neighborhood Corp.
NEWS
August 10, 2012 | By Bill Reed`, Inquirer Staff Writer
Good fences may make good neighbors, but not for Bristol Borough and Amtrak. An 8-foot-high chain-link fence that Amtrak erected along four blocks of residential Garden Street is ugly, unsafe, unnecessary, and unwanted, borough officials and homeowners say. Amtrak says it's needed for the safety of residents, especially children, who live across from four sets of tracks used by Amtrak, SEPTA, and freight trains. The chain link looks like a temporary fence at a construction site, residents complain, with trees and weeds overgrowing it and a 25-foot railroad right-of way. It doesn't keep people off the tracks, they say. All it blocks is any police cars, fire trucks and ambulances that would respond to an emergency on the tracks, plus neighbors' mowers that used to keep down the weeds.
NEWS
May 16, 2012 | By Juliana Reyes, It's Our Money Writer
WHEN IT comes to large vacant buildings, developer Tony Rufo knows how to spot potential. More than a year ago, Rufo transformed the shuttered Nathaniel Hawthorne School into the Hawthorne Lofts: 53 units of luxury loft-style condominiums. The development offers floor-to-ceiling windows, a roof deck with a stunning view of Center City and ultra-low taxes thanks to a 10-year tax break from the city. According to Rufo's website, every unit has sold. But 2 miles south, just around the corner from South Philadelphia High School, sits a very different kind of Rufo property.
NEWS
May 3, 2012 | By Juliana Reyes
Behind the charming boutiques of Main Street in Manayunk sits a crude shell of a building. The property, which runs along the Manayunk Canal on a strip of land called Venice Island, is what's left of a 19th-century textile mill. It's basically four jagged, graffiti-covered walls with no roof and nothing inside — as if someone had started demolishing from the top and worked down, but never finished. "It's pretty gruesome," says Mike Yanofsky, who works on Main Street and was taking an afternoon stroll along the canal's boardwalk when we caught up with him. He noted the nearby construction of a new Venice Island recreation-and-performing-arts center and wondered, shouldn't something be done about this eyesore?
NEWS
January 20, 2012 | BY PHILLIP LUCAS, lucasp@phillynews.com 215-854-5914
TWO VACANT and trashy lots on Dover Street near Thompson don't do much for the overall curb appeal of the houses in that slice of Brewerytown. Carol Diament, who's trying to sell a rental property she owns near the two lots, says the eyesores are dragging down property values in the neighborhood - along with her asking price for the house. Diament said that a block of Dover Street near Jefferson is spic-and-span and that she thought her block would eventually look the same way. "But it just hasn't gone anywhere," she said.
NEWS
December 2, 2011 | BY DAN GERINGER, geringd@phillynews.com 215-854-5961
WHEN MAYOR NUTTER recently announced his aggressive push to prosecute deadbeats whose blighted vacant properties ruin residential blocks, Julie Baranauskas and her long-suffering neighbors were startled to hear that Municipal Judge Bradley K. Moss is presiding over the city's new blight court. "That's the same judge who has had the city's case against Tony Byrne since March," Baranauskas told the Daily News, talking about the owner of the severely blighted, 6,251-square-foot, 19th-century stone house next to hers that has plagued the jewel-like 5300 block of Knox Street in Germantown for 10 years.
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