Back on March 31st of 2009 we reported the unfortunate fate of the house at 1338 Harrison Street. It was damaged in a fire.
Subsequent posts here, here, here, here, here, here and here trace the path to rebuilding it. We learned from a tip that it was once again damaged by fire early in the morning of September 9th and is now boarded up. How is it that bad luck like this should fall on one particular house. We’ll watch what happens.
The story of 1338 Harrison Street continues. Remember that house? It suffered a fire way back around March and pretty much sat for a while, including having the fire damage sit until the weekend before the city was going to start fining. It’s getting rebuilt, I really didn’t see that happening, especially with the bay window severly damaged.
I look at it as a good example long time owners move away but keep their houses for rentals. You just don’t get the diligence in the upkeep of the property. I don’t blame them, life in the burbs is the priority, that neighborhood they left is just an afterthought. I hear it all the time. “Man it’s getting rough down there” or “I hate going to visit my parents in the old hood, it’s just not the same” or my favorite “We got out when everyone else left”. But I’m still here, what about me? I even had the owner come leave a comment:
i am the owner of 1338 Harrison St and lived there for 30yrs before i moved out in 1998, i now rent the property out and recently had a major fire 2 months back , the insurance co had to do a full investigation and i was unable to get rid of anything until now which i plan on cleaning the front of the house sat april 18 if I’m able to get a dumpster, if not sat then during the week. growing up in fkd most of my life and watching the house you lived in burn down is a very hard thing to handle. i have full intentions to fix this property up if structurally possible and apologize for the look of the condition the house is in now
He has my sympathies, he really does. It’s all about priorities. And let’s face it, if Frankford was in demand, they probably would have sold long ago. I do call bullshit on the “it’s the insurance companies fault”. If I coulda gotten pics of kids playing on that trash I woulda been able to get Fox 29’s Dave Shratwieser up here. And they don’t leave trash out like that downtown or in the burbs. And not to be nit picky but 30 years of service doesn’t get you off of any responsibility for the proper upkeep in your property. I’m still here and I have to walk through this place every day.
But I digress, cause this house isn’t the issue. There are so many juicy examples of Frankford’s troubles wrapped up right here. Hell, the whole of Northeast Philly should be looking at this house. Maybe the first thing to realize though, is that absentee landlords aren’t always the dreaded New York based Asian investor, they can be your friends and former neighbors.
1338 Harrison is for sale for $35,000, so says Homevestors, the next chapter in its storied history. So why do I care about one house on one block in Frankford? They say this is there are other board ups on this block but I can’t see any. And they say if you get one, soon there will be two and then there goes the block. So what’s the deal with this kinda thing? Why does it happen? I don’t really know how this stuff works, it seems to me to be a money thing. Why would someone take the time to rehab this property when they could go northeast or south and put the time and materials into better neighborhoods. But I dunno, whatever. There it sits… for sale.