Yesterday, I took a walk down Ewing Street in the blocks next to Phase 1 and 2 of the Harrison Square project. Â The main reason was to take some photographs of some properties that had recently received “Weed Violations”.
Back in March, four properties along Ewing Street were placed up for sale by their owner who resides in Indianapolis according to property tax records. Â On October 20th, just a few days ago, these properties received Weed Violations. Â
I’d noticed this Monday when I was at the Ballpark, but didn’t take photographs then. Â I returned yesterday and most of the weeds were down except for one of the properties. Â
The weeds that were mowed, now cover the sidewalk, to the extent you’re not even able to see the sidewalk. Â In fact, the area has a rather pleasant “mowed hay” odor – at least to those of us who grew up on the farm.
Along the way a plethora of broken glass and beer bottles may be found.
In the next block, after Brackenridge Street, an alley runs through the middle of the block. Â For some reason, on the south side of this alley, a mound of dirt partially blocks the sidewalk. Â This mound runs from half the sidewalk to the west for several feet. Â Looks like leftovers from recent utility work in the area.
Definitely not wide enough to drive a wheelchair through. Â Plus, I didn’t take a photo, there’s a dead animal on just the other side of that brown utility pole.Â
One of the concerns I’ve had since the Harrison Square project was announced, and one I’ve heard from others as well, is the condition of this neighborhood. Â To be fair, the Baker Street block right around the next corner is well kept and manicured as is Fairfield Avenue, for about a block. Â But get out and walk this neighborhood during the day and see for yourself. Â I wouldn’t suggest after dark, however. Â This is still a rough neighborhood.
Anyway, almost a hundred million dollars of investment into Harrison Square, and yet the mess around it remains. Â The City has announced a facade grant program that will be officially rolled out on November 14, 2008. Â That will help somewhat, but frankly efforts to clean up this stretch should have been started the beginning of this year, summer at latest. Â It’s now late enough that efforts to seriously change anything in the area will be running up against mother nature and most likely won’t occur until next spring or summer. Â
This two block stretch of Ewing remains pretty much as it was last year at this time, with the exception another house condemned, a possible demolition of another condemned house, demolition of one house and siding replacement on another.