07 May 2010

Hopeful Fixers Bust Into Rat-Squirrel House

Last we heard from Cobble Hill's notorious Rat-Squirrel House, the sealed-up ruin was being newly draped in netting and scaffolding, with the hope put out that the 109-year-old landmark townhouse—until recently the home of a woman who willingly let it go to rack and ruin and termites and garbage—might actually be saved.

Today, there was a lot of activity around 149 Kane Street. A small army of hard-hatted workers showed up in a van from a brownstone restoration firm (Captain Waterproofing and Contracting).

Since all the windows and doors have been cinder-blocked up, the entered from below, lifting a grate in front of the house and blasting a hole in the very ground, thus creating a spider hole down into the basement. In this hole, they lowered a ladder, and, one by one, the constuction workers went in. (I didn't get a picture of the hole, which was lined with 19th-century red brick, but above you can see one of the workman emerging from the depths.)

I asked one of the laborers whassup. "We're seeing if we can fix it," he said. Later, I saw the foreman (he looked important) talking seriously to a civilian of some sort (potential buyer?). Can Rat-Squirrel be spared? Stay tuned.

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