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Roof Hole Visible From Space Equals Teardown Order

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By the time preservationists got involved in saving a historic Harlem row house, squatters, fires, and rain damage had caused a collapse in the roof that's clearly visible in satellite photos. The 110-year-old historic rowhouse on West 140th Street in Harlem stood abandoned and decaying for close to 20 years, before its decrepit condition resulted a Dept. of Buildings order to tear it down. That's when neighbors jumped in to research the building's historic past, but the collapsed roof and damage from fire and water had pushed the building beyond the point of safety. Even as neighbors scrambled to come together with an architectural plan to salvage the building, the state office that oversees charity groups argued that the best they could hope for was to put the property up for sale to the highest bidder.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 467 West 140th Street was once the centerpiece of a charity founded by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr. in the 1940s to help "wayward youth" gain job training and entrance to college. While the Intercultural Educational Fund Inc. thrived for many years, it eventually preceded the building in decay due to lack of funds and attention.
Broken building lines seem to mark out a row house for doom.

[The broken building lines between 467 and its neighboring row houses to the left mark the doomed building. Photo inset of collapsed interior by Claudio Papapietro/WSJ. UPDATE: Photo removed at the request of the photographer.]
· Time Runs Out for Historic Harlem Row House [WSJ]