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Good. Grief.

Someone: fetch my smelling salts, because this one makes me light-headed every time I see it.

The Lodge: 829 North Pennsylvania Avenue

Really, this one is probably as much a ‘WTH?’ as a Sunday Prayer, but this is going to take prayers, good luck, attorneys and a whole host of other things–so hit your knees and beg your higher power for help with this one.

The Lodge–sounds like a masculine boutique hotel, to me– built in 1905 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was once home to society notables and has a distinctive style that evokes a hint of San Francisco with its beautiful bay windows.

Clearly, like the majority of downtown in the 1960’s and 1970’s, this place had seen better days–just check out this undated photo, but very much unlike the rest of this part of downtown, this one has stood by, year after year, witnessing a multi-multi million dollar expansion of the central library, rehab of The Ambassador and all kinds of other positive developments while this property strives to make the filth and vermin of ‘Grey Gardens’ look like a weekend at the Ritz Carlton, Honolulu.

Very glad to hear that the city prosecutor recently filed charges against the owner of this property and I pray that an example is made of this irresponsible and willfully destructive property owner. Let me make clear that even though I am a preservationist, I do not believe every structure of a certain age must be preserved. In a case such as this, however, I wish you could jail a person who so willfully and wantonly destroys our heritage.

This is not a matter of not having enough money–just like the gut wrenching story still raging on in Cincinnati at the James N. Gamble House–this is a matter of a petulant owner digging in her heels determined to “win,” whatever that means. It’s a major downer because through her reprehensible behavior, we all lose. I suppose all we can hope for at this point, is divine intervention. Maybe this woman will find a soul?

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