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.