Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tear-downs coming to the East Side?

In the last month, I've noticed three vacant lots that, though I never actually photographed or took particular notice of what was on them, definately had houses on them; in each case, I got that strange feeling that something had changed, even though I couldn't recall exactly what; I suspected they were probably just typical wood-sided gable-fronted Milwaukee houses. A careful purusal of Google Maps' satellite views of the city confirms it.

Tear-down #1 in this list was a lot north of Brady Street, on N. Warren Avenue; it came down last summer and has remained vacant since. The satellite view isn't quite clear enough to say for sure but it looks like a small house. Could be a garage, though. A parking lot stood along side it.
Vacant lot #1

Tear-down #2 is on N. Cramer Street, diagonally across from the East Side library's parking lot. Again the satellite is a little unclear but the best guess is a gabled house.
Vacant Lot #2

Tear-down #3 was a gabled house on N. Cambridge Avenue, where it twists and turns to meet E. Irving Place. Ceasar's Park and the North Avenue Dam are right around the corner.
Vacant Lot #3

Tear-down #4 was also a gabled house; it stood on Humbolt, just north of the laundromat on Brady Street.
Vacant Lot #4

Is this enough to constitute a trend? Combined with at least one other demolition on Brady Street last year, I'd say... probably. Should East Siders start worrying about the character of their blocks, of their neighborhood? Tear-downs are the next logical step once all the vacant land is filled up, and often before it's filled up.

I'm not opposed to new construction, and I'm all for increased density, but I can't help twitching when hundred-year-old houses get knocked down.


Anonymous said...

I live in Shorewood, pretty close to this area. It may seem like a bad thing that these old homes were demolished, but in at least two of those sites new townhomes have replaced once cheap rental homes. Not a great loss in Milwaukee architecture. If every house in the neighborhood was demolished, then that would be bad.

Michael said...

I've been following these tear-downs at the Brady Street website in my monthly column there.

I think we should consider increasing the Conservation Overlay Districts, which provide a good compromise and review mechanism.
--Michael Horne

Anne/Czeltic Girl said...

I've got a little more info on teardown #2, as I own a house across the street from it and used to date a guy who lived in one of the lower units at the house that was torn down.

It was your standard gabled Milwaukee duplex. Upper was one unit, lower was divided into two -- a front and a rear. It's being replaced by a condo. (I know -- we're all shocked.)

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