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You've Never Seen a House Get Crushed Like This Before

Town demolishes vacant Port Washington structure.

In this time-lapse video, a rundown house is demolished in Port Washington, N.Y., Aug. 21, 2013. (Credit: Rich Jacques)
In this time-lapse video, a rundown house is demolished in Port Washington, N.Y., Aug. 21, 2013. (Credit: Rich Jacques)

A rundown house, unoccupied for several decades, was torn down Wednesday in Port Washington to make way for much needed parking in the area and also to remove an unsightly structure from an otherwise quaint city.

Before the destruction of the Shields house at 1070 Port Washington Blvd., Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman called it a "great win" for the community."

"We are taking down this potentially hazardous eyesore and providing the Port Washington Community with much needed parking spaces," said Kaiman.

Mindy Germain, of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, a proponent of the demolition of the Shields Property, said on behalf of her organization she was "gratified" that the Town found a way to turn what has been a blighted property into a productive property containing desperately needed merchant parking and a pocket park that will enhance upper Main Street.

Mitch Schwarz, co-president of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce agreed with Germain. 

"We are looking forward to the rehabilitation of the Shields property into merchant parking, which will free up street spots for our customers," said Schwartz.

Demolition was largely completed by Gramercy Wrecking and Environmental Contractors at a cost of about $150,000, according to Kaiman. 

Cashin Associates will provide oversight during demolition to ensure that environmental requirements are met and that hazardous materials are properly removed and disposed of, according to Town officials.
Cheryl Podolsky August 22, 2013 at 01:22 PM
I enjoyed the high-speed camera technique. Had this been in black and white, I might have mistaken it for a scene from a Keystone Cops film. Being in color, though, it had more of a Benny Hill feel to it. Would you consider adding theme music? That said, glad its gone.
Local Resident August 22, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Yikes...for $150k you think they could have stopped traffic on Port Blvd.
Dee Frateschi August 22, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Hooray! Our town looks better already!
Reckless August 23, 2013 at 03:29 AM
I don't understand why the socialists around here feel that a property owner owes some sort of aesthetic duty to an industrial section of the town. Someone made a good decision to buy and hold property that was in a somewhat desirable location, they paid taxes all those years, and eventually sold it, presumably to their benefit. If you're mad at someone, be mad at the town for paying too much. Don't disguise your socialist envy as legitimate indignation.
Local Resident August 23, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Industrial section of town? This is at Main Street and Port Washington Blvd, the most visible intersection in Port. Yes, be angry at the ToNH for spending over a $1 million of taxpayer money for the property, and also for the ToNH not requiring the previous owner to maintain the property in a safe condition.
Rick Atkinson August 23, 2013 at 09:07 AM
I can only presume that Reckless comes from some place in the third world where all things esthetic are extravagant . The Shields are a very large landlord in Port and apparently have only a profit motive in all of there properties. Too bad they don't own one next to Reckless so that he could see the type of landlords that they are. While expecting people to do business at there hardware store. By the way calling people who have a different opinions Socialists, never, particularly when it is a non sequitur, works.
Ty Thompson August 23, 2013 at 03:39 PM
150k??!!?? That's outright robbery! Company I used to work for tore down houses for 5-10k. 20-30k would get cleaned out backfill, sod and maybe a few trees...
Tony Patrick September 05, 2013 at 10:16 AM
what is real robbery is the fact that tax money is going to be building a boathouse for the port rowing team. why public money is going to pay for a private business building i do not understand. i should become friends with Kaiman, start a non for profit and have him build me a massive building. i think $300,000 is going into it.

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