Sunday, January 11, 2009

demolition by neglect

in september 2007, i documented the beginning of a pop-up at 100 seaton place nw. in the course of a week or so, the turret at the top of this house was removed, and the walls were extended to add enough space to the top of the house to create another floor. once the turret was replaced and shingled, i expected to see brick work on the walls that would complete the job.

instead, 16 months have passed, and the tyvek wrap continues to blow off the building, exposing the wood underneath to the elements. enormous amounts of water from the rains of the last year must have managed to seep down into the walls of this old rowhouse. i'm sure there must be structural damage, and i worry that the tenants inside might be without a place to stay if the house is continued to be neglected in this way. seems to be yet another unfortunate example of disinvestment in our neighborhood. does anyone know if the city can require building owners to complete projects like this in occupied buildings?


Anonymous said...

According to the property tax records, this property is receiving the homestead deduction. In that case, the owner is living there...I guess.

dano said...

from a construction standpoint, i work in the industry, there shouldnt be an issue as long as the wood hasnt rotted and the roof was done right. although it does seem silly to take it 90% and not complete it. in the long run it is more vulnerable, but wood can withstand the elements fairly well so long as it has a chance to dry out after rains.

Anonymous said...

Are sure it's single family? See if there are extra meters. They may be renting out a unit.

If so, check out the DC Office of the Tenant Advocate and Office of Consumer Regulatory Affairs for info on landlord/tenant issues.

If tenants get a subsidy voucher (Section 8 or HCVP) from the DC Housing Authority, there is actually a number to report landlord neglect, and the city will threaten to withold their portion of the rent if the residence is deemed unsafe at time of inspection. You could try making a report to the inspection office at DCHA and ask them to inspect for safety.

Anonymous said...

...or, you could just be neighborly and knock on the door.