Photo credit: Google Street View
Nobody was hurt, but that was a close one! The building that houses For Pete’s Sake Pub in Queen Village partially collapsed yesterday around 3:30pm. According to Philly.com, L&I is looking into what could have caused the roof of the three-story property (with apartments on the top two floors) to fall through.
Thus far, L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said “a zoning permit for interior renovations of the second and third floors” was granted to Peterbuilt Construction back in June. That permit was changed a few weeks ago to include floors and stairs, and an L&I inspector paid a visit to the site just last week to go over “building and fire safety with the contractor.”
No violations have been found at the site.
• L&I probes partial building collapse in Queen Village [Philly.com]
In other news…
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4712 Worth Street (center)
Photo credit: Google Street View.
It’s not even city-owned blight, which begs the question…if it had it been, how much longer would it have taken? After almost a year of neighborhood meeting complaints and 311 calls to the city, the boarded up charred remains of this Frankford home are finally being removed. And at a heavier penny than usual, too.
John Loftus of the Northeast Times reports that after 4712 Worth Street burned down last July, the city stamped it with the ever ubiquitous “imminently dangerous” label and barred its entry. (Although a neighbor says possums and raccoons still managed to settle in.)
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The Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections’ demolition oversight procedures are still unsafe, City Controller Alan Butkovitz reported Thursday, a year after the deadly Salvation Army collapse in Center City. NBC10 reports:
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City-owned blight may be the hardest to get rid of, but in the meantime Licenses and Inspections has been making an effort where it can. Yesterday, L&I petitioned City Council for an additional $2 million to their funding.
If Council approves the request, according to the Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas, L&I believes it could “demolish 650 buildings and seal 1,400 in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and hire an additional 34 employees, including 26 building inspectors.”
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The city still festers with zombie properties, many of which have the label “imminently dangerous.” But we already know this, know the age-old adage of the sneaky slumlord skipping town to avoid fines or worse. But what of city-owned blight that endangers surrounding buildings and people? Doesn’t the government get around to fixing/demolishing its own first? Short answer, not exactly. Read more »
The writing has been on the wall for a long, long time for former L&I Deputy Commissioner Dominic Verdi, who resigned way back in February 2011 amid an FBI investigation into his activities. That multi-year investigation has now resulted in charges, with United States Attorney Zane David Memeger announcing on Tuesday that Verdi has been charged with extortion. Read more »
[This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. to reflect new information from a 4 p.m. L&I press conference]
The aftermath of the collapse at the Shirt Corner at Third and Market Streets this afternoon was ugly, but, according to the demolition team, it went mostly according to plan.
“It was a demolition job and the side wall spilled out onto the street, ” said Mark Christof, a superintendent with Constructure Management Inc. “The building is so close to the street that even the bricks flying out there could’ve hurt somebody. But they positioned people all the way around the whole perimeter to make sure everybody was out of the way before it happened.”
The collapse occurred as the demolition crew attempted to remove the top two floors of 257 Market Street. As a piece of machinery pulled on the building, a portion of the structure buckled and fell onto 259 Market Street, which crumbled from the weight of the debris.
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When you think of a DIY music venue, you probably think of a warehouse in Kensington where people with cool glasses, beards, tattoos and piercings drink Pabst Blue Ribbon while listening to other people with cool glasses, beards, tattoos and piercings play loud music. But Jamey’s House of Music was not that kind of place. Read more »
The Daily News’ Jason Nark reports today that L&I is taking the Church of Scientology to Blight Court for allowing the building it purchased at 1314 Chestnut to sit vacant for more than six years without the installation of so much as even one E-meter.
Rebecca Swanson, a spokeswoman for L&I, said the Church of Scientology has obtained no permits for construction on the property and has been in violation of the city’s “doors-and-windows” ordinance since January for having “multiple boarded windows.”
As a result of the outstanding violation, Swanson said, the city is sending Scientology to Blight Court, a municipal-court hearing that could result in fines of up to $300 per day for each boarded opening.
Naturally, Scientology says the boarded-up window is par for the restoration course and claims it will address the issue soon. No news on when, you know, actual construction might start.
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While driving through South Philadelphia on Monday — the same day that contractor Griffin Campbell was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the tragic 22nd and Market building collapse — I passed this house at 1402 Ellsworth Street. About 15 minutes later, I turned around and drove back to take these photos, because this seems downright dangerous. Read more »