Monday, March 5, 2012

Lost Irvington--5500 East Washington Street

While most of Irvington's residential area remains intact, the commercial artery has suffered severe losses over the years. Both the 5400 and 5500 blocks have been the most devastated. Much of the destruction of the 5500 block has occurred in the last ten years by Tharp Investments. In this newspaper photo, taken in 1950, you can see the liveliness and density of the block. All of the buildings visible in this photo are now GONE! All of the demolition took place before Irvington was a preservation district. Since gaining protected status, Tharp has attempted to demolish more of the neighborhood, but has been stopped. On May 2, 2012, (5:30--City County Building) the firm will once again try to remove another piece of Irvington's heritage at 5502 East Washington Street. The last remaining historic structure on the north side of the 5500 block of East Washington Street could face the wrecking ball if the corporation gets its wish. This photo is an illustration as to why Irvingtonians must PROTECT what we have left. Perhaps one day, the rest of Washington Street will get to experience the glorious renaissance taking place in the 5600 block.

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