Archive for June, 2008

4245 Brampton burned to nearly the ground on June 1st. Being a direct path through the subdivision and a nice shortcut for the city of Bridgeton, Brampton was always a major thoroughfare. So its no surprise that once the area was mainly vacated, this house suffered the brunt of the vandalism early on. People were getting into this house for some time, even while a family with small kids occupied the house on the corner from it. It was the last 2 story house left in Carrollton and the fire completely consumed the entire second story, leaving the first story completely torched yet standing. The water from the fire department had washed all the debris down the hill the house stood atop. As of this posting, the debris is still scattered across the yard, with merely red ‘do not enter’ tape wrapped loosely around the yard.

I didn’t explore this house much, except to photograph a random chicken which was wandering around this yard for about two weeks last fall. I don’t know how he got there, but I am sure he didn’t last long.

12634 Weskan burned to the ground around June 14th leaving only a few pipes and a brick window remaining in a vertical position. This one was a bit of a shock because its been relatively untouched for some time. The other homes lost to arson have either suffered great vandalism prior or at least were out of the main way through the area. Since this house did not have any graffiti and it was visible from 270, I would have not thought someone would try and burn it down. This place had been boarded up for as long as I can remember, and certainly while the owners of 4095 Weskan lived there. Other than the boards being knocked out and a few broken windows, this place had stayed relatively neat throughout the empty years. Even the bushes, now charred black, had seemed to grow in a manicured shape. The only thing I can remember being damaged early on was that the whole glass back door was broken out and the air conditoner laid in parts on the back patio.

These two latest examples demonstrate the complete lack of security of this area from the airport.

The Post-Dispatch reported yesterday that an additional 30 flights are being cut from Lambert.

So, Lambert- What are the long-term plans now regarding the former Carrollton Subdivision? The final occupants moved out 6 months ago. These houses are slipping into horrific desecration. The pool is a sickening health hazard. What are you going to do with this wasteland? We are all becoming more anxious to learn what will be the fate so we can finally close this book.

How much is the new runway really costing now? Apparently, it must cost more than you can afford to pay the demo crews to take out 26 home parcels, half of which have become arsonist playgrounds. The longer you leave them, the greater the risk of someone getting hurt. The red tape does not keep people out. Get those houses out of there, before it costs you (and I, the taxpayer) a lot more.

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Not since March 14th has an official demolition been carried out. In fact, the lineup of dumpsters and the wreckers themselves have been removed from the area in April. Lambert seems to be done for a while, which is completely inappropriate. 17 houses remains mainly intact while 9 others are left in charred ruins, some for months.

So to Lambert Expansion officials, who I hope read this: 26 former homes are left in sickening demise. End this deplorable mess NOW. For the sake of the people who once called this area home, finish what you have started and take out the remaining 26! They’re already displaced and planted elsewhere, but they still deserve dignity and respect! Give them the piece of mind that none of this was done in vain.. tear out the rest of the homes NOW!

Every house that now remains has been vacant for a year or more. Some have been vacant for four years; that is the last time they actually bothered to board up the empty homes. Those houses that once had that courtesy now have their rotten, moldy boards kicked out in the yards from the inside. There isn’t a single windowpane in Carrollton with a full sheet of glass. Most windows don’t even have a fragment of glass larger than a finger left in the frames.

We could say that we should be glad in this economy that Lambert at least got the people out. After all, they dragged their feet on the buyouts as some people waited in that limbo for over a decade. However, it just proves what a bad deal this was from the very start. They didn’t have the money then, and they surely don’t have it now. Its pathetic that Lambert forced some homeowners to wait as long as 2007, close to 15 years to finally move on. Its sick to leave their homes in this state of ruin and limbo for even longer.

Do the people of Carrollton still care? Do the former owners of the 26 remaining see what is happening? Yes they do, and I am witness. Former residents drive through all the time; I see them constantly while I am on my photo shoots. The worst was when I could finally drive two weeks ago, I went down Manteca, where some of my favorite subjects lie in ruin. I saw an old man parked outside the former two-story burn… his hand was over his eyes. Once he looked up and saw me from the opposite direction, he gained composure and quickly drove off. (more…)

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