Sunday, January 11, 2009

155 North Campbell

Not since the the flood of 1937 has Butchertown seen such a destructive force. Unfortunately, this force happens to be that of the human hand which belongs to a Butchertown landowner. For the residents who have been here a while, they can tell you all about the cozy shotguns and camelbacks that once lined North Campbell. All but one have seemed to disappear, and that very disappearance is what helped forge the way for the historic designations and protection of buildings that we now have.

155 North Campbell, above, has been allowed to decay due to neglect from it's owners. The classic yet clean lines of the structure take us back to a time when craftsmen and woodworkers spent their hot summer days in Butchertown building these wonderful homes which have weathered all sorts of storms for the last one hundred years. The old growth timber used to build this home has stood the test of time. As seen in the first picture, it once had a beautiful iron fence that lined its property line. There were planter boxes with seasonal flowers, and two large windows that faced the westerly sunsets over the Ohio River. But what speaks the most, is that in the first picture there were two other adjacent properties still standing. Where did they go?
Over the last 20 years a total of six properties all next to each other, all owned by the same people have come down. 155 is the only abode standing in the way of these people having a huge, uninterrupted parcel of land on "wet" side of the flood wall. The word "wet" is used very loosely, but a term the owners seem to have coined when describing the lack of use for the property, and the partial reasoning behind them asking the city for a demolition permit. A short trip down Quincy Street will show anyone in question how properties on this side of the flood wall have thrived in recent years. Many properties have been purchased and brought back to life, and two major developments are in the works for that side of the flood wall.
155 North Campbell still has one more battle this week. On Thursday, January 15 at 8:30 am in the Old Jail building downtown, the property owners will be appealing the Landmarks Commission's decision NOT to grant them a demolition permit. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! At last week's Neighborhood Association meeting, we agreed that every resident who is able to attend the meeting should, to voice our opinions on the importance of this building to our neighborhood's fabric. After a good conversation with David Marchal, who is the Urban Design Supervisor for Landmarks, he informed us the that all decisions have the right to appeal. The property owners who were denied the demolition permit wanted to have the ruling reexamined. David said that only an error in the initial denial could spark the decision to be overturned and the property to be demoed. However, it is possible for the owner to appeal such a decision in the courts.
With that said, and the possibility that the house could come down still hanging out there- we would love to see as many of you at this hearing as we can! Please come out and support the preservation of our neighborhood.

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