Ledger Inquirer: Decrepit house in shadow of old mill needs to be razed

I got a nice hand-written but anonymous note from a Concerned Reader who had a lot on her mind. Not meaning to be sexist, but I'm assuming it's a woman because of the number of cutesy butterflies on the stationery.

Sue me.

Anyway, she writes:

"Mike, if the mason needs some bricks to repair the cut-through on Broadway (Inquirer, Dec. 24), there are about 300,000 of them at the old Anderson Mill on 35th Street. The roof has fallen in and all the windows are broken out, so it shouldn't be hard for Reeves to take down.

"If this is too much, the city could try the empty brick house with the door open and the windows broken out in the 800 block of 35th. You'll have to look really hard to see the house because the trees, bushes and grass have not been cut in three years."

She signed the note as "Home Owner Fed Up With All This Crap," but added a postscript:

"P.S. That brick cut-through on Broadway has been like that for 30 years. I thought it was on the National Historic Register."

I will check with Clason Kyle on the historical status of the bad brickwork. And I will check with Property Inspector Rebecca Wiggins about the house. I'll have to do some more digging on the old mill, but it isn't going anywhere.

But before calling Wiggins, I drove over to 812 35th Street to verify the description of the property. It looks like it was once a nice little brick cottage with a covered front porch. It's only about 1,000 square feet, but the fair market value is about $17,000. Problem is, I'm not sure it's worth $1,700. The windows are broken out, the fascia boards on the eaves are missing, making the attic a playground for rodents and other pests. And speaking of pests, a glance in a front window showed debris (fast food wrappers and cartons and beer cans and bottles) strewn about, indicating someone is using the house for something. I do not suspect clandestine Junior League meetings.

And before you blame the owner, keep in mind that she died almost 13 years ago, according to nexis.com.

It's possible the property is already on the city's demolition list, but there's no big red D on it, at least not that I could see. We'll find out this week and get back with you.


Speaking of people who have died, we revisit last week's Inquirer in which I asked city Public Works Director Pat Biegler to see about an overgrown drainage basin on Anglin Road near Gentian Elementary School. But then I found out that the Concerned Reader who reported it had passed away between reporting it and seeing it fixed.

Anyway, Biegler said she'd get it done last week, and she sure did. The area looks like it was taken to a salon and waxed.

Seen something that needs work? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.