Demolition of the buildings at 4868 Santa Cruz Avenue began November 1. Residents who had lived there for years were given notice at the end of June that work would begin the day after Halloween. They knew this day would come, but hoped it would be delayed as long as possible.
Upon move-in, prospective tenants were told that at some point the structures would be coming down. Some residents were informed of the plans as long as five years ago. Signs warning of the impending demolition had been posted on the fence for years and on the buildings themselves.
After at least six years of waiting for the money and the permits to go through with the project, it took only minutes to tear down a home. Neighbor Shawn McGinnis said that in the time it took him to smoke a cigarette, the house across from his was completely leveled. A single person with a dozer tore through wood, drywall, and concrete, and then loaded the chunks into a dump truck to be hauled away.
Lost are the rounded ceilings of these single-story homes. Lost is the mural that used to adorn the back house. Lost is the milk door in the kitchen of the front house where decades ago the milkman would make his deliveries. All that is left is a plot of dirt that needs to be dug up and repacked to make way for the construction of new apartments.