Finally, we are ready to begin some house work . . .

We are finally ready to begin real work on house; here are the details:

backyard side of house

1) Address: 519 Harmon Street Detroit 48202 (Harmon is a street east off Woodward, very near the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament; cross streets are Harmon and Brush).

2) We swapped the house on Sherwood for this one on Harmon because we felt it was/is a better location; proximity to historic Boston/Edison/Arden Park district (three blocks), and to Highland Park shopping areas (8 blocks), as well as to planned light rail up Woodward corridor. The street is nice and shaded with mature hardwoods: Catalpa, Walnut, and Maple.

3) I have met some of the neighbors: Burl lives on the adjacent corner; Tenisha + family live two doors down. Dwight lives nearby and may help us with interior clean-up/repair/demo and rollaway.

4) Major priorities: the house is fire damaged on its west facade, and the roof has a few holes. It is three stories, four bedrooms, one ostensible bathroom, living room, dining, kitchen, basement. It is completely routed inside, down to plaster and floor boards, but it needs to be properly cleaned out (water damage from fire includes insulation disbursement). It seems to be structurally sound still (?).

5) On April 15, 2014, the Planning and Development Dept. (PDD) of the City of Detroit lost the authority to post the First-come Bid Sales monthly list; April was the last month any residential property was sold from that list, that office. The City Council authorized the transfer of some 16,400 residential structures to the Detroit Land Bank (DLBA), which will likely demolish the majority of these houses. The PDD is no longer accepting applications for bid sale. By July 1, the salvageable structures will be available on the DLBA website. So 519 Harmon is among the last group of houses that the City will ever sell in the bankruptcy phase (see photos below).

sales list

6) If you want to work on the house, please be advised of the following: there is NO WATER, NO POWER, NO FACILITIES of any kind on site, so you need to expect ‘rough it’/dry camping-like conditions. Bring: a gallon of water; gloves; protective eye wear; hard hat; work boots; wear jeans/long sleeve shirt; surgical mask; bug spray; sun screen; hand tools; lunch/snacks. You agree to enter at your own risk; this project or homeowner does not carry any liability toward any worker, volunteer, or other supporters who may be injured on site. Sorry! Adults only.

7) Priorities and projects: Roof; clean-out all debris, insulation, broken plaster, from entire house; reconnect water from main (need to contact Detroit Water Co.); reconnect power (need to call DTE); decide to ‘top’ off third floor (?) and have just two stories; doors; windows; repair fire damaged siding and frames; install toilet, tub, sink; install kitchen sink; drywall; flooring; painting; take down the two dead Norway Spruce in front yard; garage (?); build pit toilet and/or install well with hand pump for duration of construction phase (?); install wood burning stove for heat (?); solar panels for hot water heater (?); fix stairs to basement; fix porch stairs


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