Danger of Imminently Dangerous House Couldn’t Have Been That Imminent
Check out the photos of 1402 Ellsworth Street, which is the kind of house Philly residents walk by all the time and don’t even notice anymore. It’s just one of so many craptastic buildings that are about to topple over. This one was slapped with an “imminently dangerous” designation in July but court proceedings against the owner didn’t start till a few days ago. With all due respect to understaffing and human fallibility, have we learned nothing from disasters like the fire at Thomas Buck warehouse or the Salvation Army collapse? L&I doesn’t have the funding to demo a building in danger of imminent collapse within 24 hours, as City Controller Alan Butkovitz suggested, but to go months?
The building owner must feel rather invincible. After he testily confronted Philly mag’s Victor Fiorillo, who was taking photos of his “house,” he explained his lack of upkeep by saying he was “just a regular guy” who’s had neighborhood problems.
That regular guy needs to be held accountable, especially if he’s so easily found. And L&I needs to get the funding it requires to make demo projects like this one happen.