Seven years ago, I took the photo above, hoping that one day we would see a drastic difference. Seven years later the 290 Liberty was still abandoned and in worse shape than it had ever been. With a renovation bill into the million range, no one had stepped up to reverse 30 years of neglect. The Newburgh Community Land Bank came to the tough decision of demolishing the building because of the potential danger it caused to pedestrians, as well as the two neighboring properties. They wrote a very poignant piece on the history of the home, commemorating the lives and the history of the people who once lived there.
Many people are enraged when a building has to be demolished. Some people think it’s just “one more building.” Unfortunately, dozens of other buildings will meet the same fate if not taken care of soon. We lost 290 Liberty, but there are plenty of other buildings screaming out Rescue Me.