23 March 2008

A Future Rat-Squirrel House?

There's no saving the Rat-Squirrel House of 149 Kane Street. That seems pretty clear now. Either it will fall down or be torn down, but it gravity-bound either way. What can be down to avert such tragedies? Well, catch them in time, I guess.

With that in mind, what is going on at 88 2nd Place in Carroll Gardens? A thin, three-story brownstone that's gone a ghostly white, it's in deplorable condition. The top windows are boarded over. The whole facade is weather-beaten. The front gate has an intact post on one side, a decapitated one on the other. Similarly, one newel post at the foot of the stoop is adorned with a piece of statuary, while the other is bereft of such adornment. There is detritus all over the lawn and an abandoned wooden door that has been pried from its former place. There is a chipped, leaning shrine to the Blessed Virgin that looks none too happy. And no sign that anybody's home.

The house hasn't racked up nearly as many violations at the Rat-Squirrel House, but a recent complaint, investigated on Jan. 16, found that 88 2nd Place was "vacant, open and unguarded." A previous 2007 investigation reported that a caller had stated that the "building has been vacant for 10 years but someone comes to collect mail." I think I actually saw that guy. He entered the yard, took the mail out of the box and then left.

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