When a building gets demolished its usually a sign that something new will go up in its place. That’s not the case in Baltimore, where crews are tearing down historic rowhouses in the name of public health and safety.
An excavator crunches and munches through the first of nearly 70 boarded up row houses slated for demolition. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the assembled crowd vacant houses are a major public safety hazard.
"Removing such blight be it here or anywhere I feel is something that’s central to the success of our city," says Rawlings-Blake.
The speech got a nod from passersby. But resident Malachi Williams doesn’t think the vacant lots are good for the city either.
"That takes the neighborhood down, that takes the value, the next person, buying a house down the corner, that takes their property down," says Williams. "Build some houses back in the neighborhood and it will build the neighborhood back."
That was the plan. But city managers say the developer who wanted to build luxury rowhouses on this block couldn’t come up with the financing.