Dear Friends and Media,
Sadly, Don Luciano’s tenement at 217-219 W. Overland Ave., located across the street from the “Arena Footprint,” has yet again been invaded by intruders. The attached photos from yesterday show at least two breaches in the perimeter.
Police raided the property on Saturday night.
You will recall that the historic tenement, built in 1900 and occupied continuously by mostly immigrants for 116 years, was the subject of much controversy in December 2016, when the residents were evicted around Christmas in order to prepare for demolition in support of the City’s arena project. That was followed by reports of multiple code violations.
The property again made the news last year when vagrants invaded and trashed the interior in ways that I will not describe here. I refer you to the KVIA report.
I sincerely hope the City will enforce its own codes and protect this historic building from further damage. It will soon be added to the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property within the future Downtown National Register District, and Mr. Luciano will be able to benefit from generous federal and state tax credits.
The City also needs to reinforce and protect the five properties across the street that were damaged on September 12, 2017 when it authorized the demolition of the neighborhood. The demolition was stopped by the 8th Court of Appeals, which issued two emergency orders and revoked the City demolition permits. 13 buildings in the fenced “Arena Footprint” are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and five of those have been left damaged and exposed to the elements by the City for more than three years.
Have a good evening.
Max Grossman, PhD
Board of Directors, Preservation Texas
Vice-Chair, The Trost Society
Co-Chair, Restore Sacred Heart Church