Big tragedy this evening for historic home lovers. You may remember our photo tour of one of the West Village's crown jewel properties, the Van Dyke Place Mansion which has been listed for the jaw-dropping price of $145,000. We called it "amazeballs" and we stand by that; the place had a billion details you just do not find these days. But this evening we got a ton of phone calls from upset West Village residents informing us the police came to arrest two scrappers at the building.
From what residents told us, about six people have been around the building for the last two weeks saying they were working for the owners. They had trucks that said T&T and told neighbors they were improving the building so it could sell. But today when neighbors noticed the workers taking chunks of limestone off the facade they smelled big trouble. In this historic district you need approval to change a building exterior and they had not been informed of this work. Eventually police were called. Of the six workers that had been on the site, two were arrested and their car was impounded. It is our understanding that they were scrappers that did not have a right to be on the property and were arrested for trespassing. The limestone they took seems to still be piled outside but who knows what damage was done to the interior over two weeks. Neighbors, while pleased with the police response, seem rather pissed and disgusted. This is clearly an important lynchpin for the area and any pending deals (we've heard rumors of this as well) will likely be affected. We'll keep you updated if we hear further. [CurbedWire Staff]
Update: According to a resident, the neighbors were told that someone in Findlay Ohio purchased the mansion from a bank and sent a crew down. After the police were called and an inspector called, he was overheard saying, "If some Asshole from Findlay Ohio thinks he can come up here and strip a house in Detroit, he has got another fucking thing coming!"
Update #2: A former Board member from Preservation Detroit posted on facebook: "Nate Ford from the Department of Building and Safety Called and was sent the pictures. He is sending out an inspector tomorrow and then who ever owns the building is going to be in trouble....You see, they went to a house in a Nationally Recognized Historic District. They then proceed to alter the Facade w/out proper permits, permission or a Hearing. This is against the law. It would seem someone is going to be in a Shit Load of Trouble."
Update #3: Scrappers suck.
Update #4: The building had sold on May 2 for $115,000. They paid cash.
· Van Dyke Place Mansion: (Decaying) Interior Decadence [Curbed Detroit]
· Amazeballs Bank-Owned Mansion For Jaw-Dropping Price [Curbed Detroit]