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Old 04-07-2008, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Houses were also burned down I presume. Where I live in University Heights there is an abandoned house with boarded windows and an abandoned car. I dont know if it was arsoned, or it was just abandoned.

Also vacant lots....did buildings used to stand there? Or where they always vacant. Some are lots are used for parking and others are left as is. But im curious to find out if a structure once stood there.

And where I see Bronx Bricks or Fedders new buildings I assume they were built on vacant lots where buildings once stood. Any truth to this?
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:13 PM
 
1,794 posts, read 2,734,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrusjul View Post
Do you guys think there will ever be another wave of arson like it happened in the 70's or life and conditions today are just so different than back then? I believe those fires had nothing to do with riots, like it happen in other cities.
The arson had nothing to do with riots. Rent control destroyed the Bronx, especially starting in the 1960's and 1970's, when oil prices rose throught the roof, and heavily subsidized Coop City opened in the east Bronx.

Essentially, tenants never moved out of their apartments because they had below-market rents thanks to rent control. The apartments deteriorated and common areas deteriorated because the landlords had no cash-flow. And no cash flow meant that they could not get mortgages for major repairs such as boilers, roofs and window replacement.

When Coop City opened, 65,000 or so people fled the older parts of the Bronx, creating massive vacancies of dumpy apartments in rundown buildings. The quality of the tenants declined, and crime rose through the roof.

So lots of landlords took the easy way out - they torched the buildings (suprisingly there were few fatalities, so the tenants had to be warned). It was also alleged that some tenants alos torched buildings because homeless families would get a cash allowance and a better apartment.

In summary, the Bronx disaster was caused by government stupidity. And it did look like Berlin after World War II. It is amazing that it has recovered.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sha83 View Post
Definitely. You cannot always tell which were rehabbed and which weren't but there usually are some tell-tale signs:

1) Look at the windows. Look to see if any of the windows were bricked up.

2) Look to see if the bricks used are in different colors, especially around the top near the roof. Often times the bricks fall off from years of abandonment or from damaged substained during fires or vandalism.

3) Look at the strip near the top of the building near roof where the molding is/was. Many times there is just a cement strip where the molding used to be or a newly-molded one, which is more expensive. This a really tell-tale sign.

Also look for bright bricks, which means it was probably power-washed (though not necessarily from abandonment). Different brightly-colored paints such as green or blue or red can be seen on the fire escapes. Look for details on the building that don't look original or look lik epros of the real thing.
Let me add boarded up windows/or missing windows

And NYCHA rehab sign in the front of the building means that it was rehabbed by the city. This is IMO the best way to look for buildings that were damaged by arson etc...
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
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i dont remember much of the bronx back in the 80s because i was a little kid....but i remember riding on the 2 train a few times and really not wanting to get off.....it seriously looked scary....especially the projects, my pops used to get his car fixed in edenwald on grace ave. edenwald still intimidates me to be honest.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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The arson bordered on a criminal conspiracy. The night of the Ali-Norton fight I think someone figured they'd burn half of Highbridge or so it seemed............
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Mott Haven
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Hmm...I can tell you what the eighties were like....the buildings that were burnt were all razed to the ground...so instead of hulkin shells there were blocks of vacant lots and that's about it. Walking around you would see the drug addicts at 730 am wandering the streets, same went for evenings. The trains were a graffitti mess, and were filled with fools with their boomboxes and playing dice...and doing whatever they can to annoy/intimidate people.

The streets were filthy as there were NO garbage cans..as in NONE. St. Mary's park was unpassable due to the used syringes throughout the park and the AIDS scare made that even worse. Housing was dilapidated to say the least, and the projects were complete zoos...as were surrounding neighborhoods. BUT there were glimmers of hope...they were beginning to build new homes, rehab buildings, although VERY slowly, and city services resumed throughout the area.

It took about 25 years to get to the point that we are today: stability, economic investment, expanded city services, quality/middle class housing, major retail investments, and broadbased revitalization.

The area is NOW baseline livable...i.e. it has the basic amenities to live like supermarkets, decent local shops/retail/restaurants, dependable city services (like sanitation), good and reliable transportation into the city, and a community that is working hard to make things better instead of just being victimized by everyone. It is this baseline amenities that is paving the way for the rapid changes and investments that you are seeing today in retail, housing, and infrastructure that will one again, for better or for worse, revamp the South Bronx area.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
So lots of landlords took the easy way out - they torched the buildings (suprisingly there were few fatalities, so the tenants had to be warned). It was also alleged that some tenants alos torched buildings because homeless families would get a cash allowance and a better apartment.
Both are true and you can add a third. Junkies would often torch what was left to get the copper pipes in order to sell them for money to buy dope.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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I've been looking at the top of many buildings and I do notice a difference in color in most of them.

A lot of them are a lighter shade at the top. I wonder if this is just erosion or were these buildings on fire at one point.

Some are of a darker shade.

Then others you could see a noticable difference. These were obviously rehabbed.

Some even have some sort of metal plates on the roof.
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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I had a question about the lighter roofs near the fire escapes. why would they be a different color? were they re-done? But why would the top of the apt just be re-done and not the rest of it? It kind of confuses me.
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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I found this cool music video to show what it was like then. Some of you might know it. The quality isn't that great, but you can get an idea. Anyone know where these shots were taken?


YouTube - Grandmaster Caz - South Bronx Subway Rap
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