Friday, November 26, 2010

The Worst Corner in Town

Already told you we had a building there*.  But a lot of funnier (and fun) stuff happened a long time before we owned it.  It was a brothel & bar, when Columbia Street was named Diamond Street.  I was amused, but not surprised, when I saw a picture of it in Diamond Street, a history of Hudson’s bordellos back in the day.

By the time we got it, it was a vacant, crumbling mess.  With lots of little bedrooms, of course – and a long, well-worn vintage bar in the front room.  And a lot of people hanging on the corner, day and night --  every day and night. 

When the guys went in to rehab it, they put snow fence around the building to keep pedestrians away from the work zone.  Back then snow fences were made of wooden slats and chicken wire, not the plastic mesh you see now.  Anyway, every morning, when the workers returned, there would be less and less slats on the chicken wire, until, at some point, there was only wire.  We never figured out why anyone would steal just the wooden slats, but they did.

In the middle of what was supposed to be interior demolition, what little mortar was left on the building gave up the ghost, and men on the other sites that made up the job got word to hurry down to the corner building, because it completely caved in.  We were trying to get historic tax credits for the rehab, so the guys cleaned off all the bricks and re-used them for what was actually a brand new building under used brick.

The disguise didn’t work too well, and because of the newness of the building, and the fact that the historic district wasn't extended to Columbia Street in the end, we never did get the tax credits.  But we ended up with this awesome-looking building, all brick with marble sills, on what was still,
the Worst Corner in Town.

*See Oct. 27, 2010

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