End of the Detroit Project
It’s over. After a year and half of work and worry, the house at 20499 Grandview, Detroit Michigan 48219 will be returned to the Land Bank. Or actually, the title has already has been re-conveyed. Why? What happened? With much effort and determination, I was able to demo the entire interior of the house, removing all the drywall and debris. After filling the entire garage, here is all that is left, the rest taken out week by week with the regular trash (I did this in order to avoid having to rent a ‘roll-off’ dumpster).
Water service with DWSD and electric with DTE had been both hooked up. I was making progress. But the real thing was that this kind of project takes two; I needed a partner, a helper, someone to keep up the momentum and plan the next step. None of my three adult children were available or interested, and I could not find someone to hire. I also needed more money; my budget was $5000. Because I had planned on doing most of the unskilled labor myself, I figured this amount would be about right. But then the wall in the breezeway fell in and was going to cost at least $5000 to fix it (header, soffit, reset window, new dry wall, etc.).
This was the most damage and where the raccoon(s) likely and casually gained access to the house. The house still looks better than how I found it. But yesterday (May 21) When I was at the house to take out more demo trash and recover a few personal items, I heard the sound of water running or rather spilling in the basement. Sure enough, the water meter had been damaged or vandalized and was spraying water every where. I tried to shut down both stop valves, but the water kept coming.
Eventually I got DWSD emergency on the phone and they came to shut it off at the street (I think). I also contacted Robert Saxon, lead architect at the Land Bank. Technically, it’s his house now and his problem. But I just feel bad that I was not able to finish what I started. Maybe if I had been able to find a full time job at Wayne State or U Michigan or OCC, I would have been able to stick it out and make it liveable. But that’s the story of Detroit: you have to leave because you can’t find a job. The house has such potential and such a great big yard.
Good bye special house, I hope that you find a forever owner. Best wishes, God speed.