Sep. 24th, 2010

Each city has its own code.  Say "chihuahua house" in Dearborn and everybody knows you're referring to the little brick house with the neatly clipped lawn and several dozen dead dogs in the freezer.

Chihuahua House came up last night as my sub-committee for the neighborhood District discussed what to do about the place my spouse and I refer to as the "sad house," the derelict specimen across the street and several houses down.  The sad house, with its broken windows and appropriately somber-hued siding, is a disaster zone-- leaking roof and flooded basement, rotten plaster and mold.  Every sad house has its story and this one's tale involves long-dead parents and indifferent heirs; you'd need a flow chart to track the number of people who need to sign a quit-claim deed to the place, but not one of them bothered to take care of it.  Or legally inherit it.  Or pay the back taxes, which aren't especially much.  Or even move out the junk, until this weekend when we noticed signs of movement.

The sad house, like the other homes in our District, has historical and architectural significance in a uniquely Dearborn way (hint: Fords are involved).  It may be as much of a loss as Chihuahua House, toxic from neglect, but it would be worth the effort to save.  

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athabasca

February 2012

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