5/15/2006

Death in the 'Hood...

I read about the grizzly discovery of a partially decomposed body in my neighborhood on Sunday in the Buffalo News. I never met Shawn Luchey but she lived close by on Eaton Street, down Michigan Avenue a ways. Eaton is a two block street running east/west between Michigan and Jefferson Avenue. It's part of the urban prairie. There are no "vinyl victorians" on the street, just a bunch of raggedy ass houses and totally over grown City lots that provide meaning to about anybody's definition of blight and neglect.
Eaton Street - May 2006 Eaton Street - May 2006
click to enlarge
Eaton Street has 85 parcels. 23 are owned by the City of Buffalo. It doesn't mean much for Shawn Luchey or her three children that the rear house at 51 Eaton was privatley owned. You can catch a glimpse of it in the picture. When I called the City's third floor today and spoke with a representative of the Inspections Dept, I was told that the house hadn't been in Housing Court for more than five years. Boarded and vacant and Shawn's chamber of horrors and a closet there, her first coffin. Five years is a long time. Problem is, it's only 2 blocks away from the Artspace neighborhood. Click for map.
55 (red) & 51 (blue) Eaton -- Cottage in the Rear (green)

Eaton Street - May 2006 Eaton Street - May 2006
click to enlarge
The boarded house next door (green, rear cottage), would top the list of places to look for a body, I know. I'm not going to second guess the Buffalo Police Dept and the job they do...they are our gang, love 'em...and the inspectors on the third floor have thousands of buildings to inspect. Last time I heard Judge Nowak's docket grows longer every month. But, next door?

Most readers here don't have a boarded house on the block, I know. And most people who have boarded houses next door, don't participate in the local blogosphere, yet I'm left wondering what's behind the boards on the house four houses down the street.

I don't know Shawn's three surviving children. Someone reading this probably teaches one of them. What do we tell them about life in the 'hood that they don't already know? Suggestions?

Monday's Buffalo News, confirmed the story.

RIP - Shawn

five day follow-up, right here!
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Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

1 comment:

ebonydavis3 said...

thanks to whoever posted this it shows that someone cared im shawns youngest daughter and i was the one who found her laying in that closet the police didnt do anything to help and i miss her every day thanks