Monday, August 8, 2011
Can't something be done about this?
Anyone thinking that the already decrepit commercial building at 4118 E. Madison St. couldn’t become more of a blight on the heart of Madison Park’s business district was proven wrong last week when vandals smashed the plate glass window of one of the building’s two vacant shops. Building owner Constance Gillespie, notorious for her unwillingness to spend any funds to maintain the structure, is almost certainly unaware of the damage. We understand from reliable sources that she is unreachable by phone or email, and there is some question as to whether she even accepts mail delivery.
The building has been in a state of disrepair (shall we say visibly rotting?) for many years, much to the consternation of other neighborhood merchants, one of whom refers to the structure as “The Black Hole of Madison Park.” (We’ve covered this story in some detail: click here to read our previous postings.)
The question now is whether the situation is to the point where the City can step in and require some remedial action on the part of the landlord, since the recent damage clearly presents a potential hazard to passersby. Madison Park Business Association President Terry Short has done his best to tape over the glass that remains in the window frame, but the shop is now open to both the weather and to anyone who wants to enter the premises. Glass shards could easily dislodge onto what is the neighborhood’s most trafficked sidewalk.
As of this afternoon, no one had apparently called the City to ask for an intervention; so stepping out of our journalist role, we did so. We contacted that Department of Planning and Development and made a formal request for an inspection, citing a clear danger to the public. We were told that based on our description of the situation there would be an investigation.
We shall see.