Monday, December 19, 2011

More on Demolition

North Avenue between Park Avenue and Gavett Place was blocked off Sunday with a police guard monitoring the site of Saturday's fire that destroyed this building. It is now slated for demolition, possibly as soon as early this coming week.

I tried to get a look at the rear of the building, but the alley to the interior of the block is closed off with police tape.
The building appears to be attached to one that fronts on East Second Street in this screen shot from Google   maps.
Here is a rear view that shows the proximity of the other building.
A view down the alley Saturday shows that the former book store further down the block is open at the rear. These back alleys tell a tale that cannot be read from the facades out front. I first became aware of the sordid interiors of some downtown blocks when I was a reporter and went down an alley off Watchung Avenue to see the rear of a building where a young man had either jumped or fallen to his death. Behind the fancy buildings across from the main train station, trash was piled up and the true disrepair of the buildings was evident.

(That fatality several years ago resulted in an elaborate memorial shrine being set up in front of the building that was torn down in March. People gathered every night for weeks, setting up candles, beer and liquor bottles and personal mementoes along with gang insignia.Some may remember how it spread from the front of the building to half the block.)

Here's a shot from the back of the building that was demolished in March.
That building had underground vaults under the sidewalk on North Avenue. It's likely that there are the same kind of vaults in front of the building that burned on Saturday. If so, it will be interesting to see whether the vaults are sealed off before the lot is filled in. That did not happen in the March demolition and there is serious settling of the fill, with large holes at the sidewalk's edge.
The City Council will have to authorize an emergency appropriation for the cost of the demolition of the fire-damaged building. It will probably be charged against the new 2012 budget. The March demolition cost about $200,000.



  1. Did you say $$$Demolition$$$ ? Music to my ears .....

  2. Miss Bernice
    Don't you go getting hurt trying to get pictures of that fire.

  3. Take down all the old buildings. We are in the 21 century, time to get with the times and build a new downtown.

  4. I am sure Oliver Brown Construction will get the contract to demolish that building