Welcome to the 'Hood


In the center of this photo is a vacant house that blew up.

Thieves will break in, strip out the metal, and leave the gas on. Eventually, a spark sets it off and the building explodes.

They regard it as great sport.

Fortunately, no one was killed or injured during this explosion. 

Urban forestry: A house roof contains everything a tree seedling needs to grow: a bed of sand granules from decaying shingles, organic material from decaying framing, carbon dioxide from all the fossil fuels combusted in an urban environment, abundant rainwater, and unrestricted access to solar energy.

This was a "zombie" house.  At the height of the mid-Aught's housing bubble, the absentee owner took out a mortgage for more than the house was really worth. He didn't maintain the house, and soon it was unrentable. So he walked away.

The bank didn't want to take title because they would have to admit that the loan was no good: the property had negative value. It was a liability, not an asset.

The investors that bought the tax liens at auction didn't want it and got their money back.

Eventually, it cost the taxpayers about $8,000 to demolish the house.

This shows the demolition of another zombie house after it was foreclosed and abandoned. The house was next to the parking lot of a church that offered free breakfast every day in the basement for anyone who showed up, no questions asked. 

You can imagine who showed up.

The "clients" would sit on the steps of the house, tossing cigarette butts into the tall grass. One fine morning after breakfast, the vacant house caught fire.

The city had to tear it down at taxpayer expense.

Mentally ill substance abusers would sleep in the abandoned house in the background. It caught fire late one night about a year later and was also demolished. 

The "Breakfast Club" in the church basement shut down and the "program" moved to another neighborhood.

Boomer and Sunny and their neighbors are glad to see it gone, but feel sorry for the hardworking homeowners in that other neighborhood. They don't deserve this abuse.

The roof of this Baptist Church caved in due to poor maintenance and overloading the roof by building a dormer with HVAC equipment right at the weakest point of the roof: the center.

As the rafters pancaked, they pushed the brick walls over, destroying part of the building. The city had to tear down the remaining section of the main church to prevent it from collapsing on passersby.