Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Another Centenarian Lost

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's been raining all morning with the occasional grumble of thunder so I didn't really think about the low rumble until I realized it had been going on for more than a minute.  I turned off my sewing machine to get a better listen.  Still hearing it, I went to my window and this is what I saw.

They're tearing down the house across the street from us!  This is the one that caught fire last fall.  The house was built after ours, but we still think it was about 100 years old - a centenarian.  We had hoped that the owner would renovate it and they did pull the permits in mid-April to do that.  But they must have decided it would have been too much work or money and the permit changed to a demolition permit in early May.

Note the onlooker.  This attracted quite the crowd!
We've been watching a steady stream of utility companies come out over the last 3 weeks as they turned everything off.  That included the water department digging up the street and capping off the water pipes.  Then came the folks to take out the old mouldings, fireplace mantels, pipes, wires, window glass and anything of value.  Hopefully, they will be reused somewhere else.

If you've never seen a house torn down before,  I can tell you that it's really an interesting thing to watch.  Since there are houses on either side, the Cat operator has to be careful about how he takes everything down so that he keeps all the debris in a nice neat little pile.  Kinda like a jigsaw puzzle.

At one point, we saw a rat scrambling around on what remained of the roof.  I'm sure he was forlorn about his home being torn down.  I hope he doesn't decide that our house looks like a nice replacement!

This was the perfect day to tear this down, as there was a steady rain to keep all the dust down.  I'm sure there's asbestos and lead paint in there, given the age of the house.

Later on, they'll come back with a big bulldozer and scoop everything up and into dumpsters to be carted away.  That's 100 year old wood in there being thrown into the landfill.

Our view has changed (for the better) but it's sad to think that several somebodies could have saved this house over several decades and they chose not to do so.   And now there's nothing left but the urban vultures picking over her bones for anything valuable.

The Urban Vulture, Kansas City's official bird

Watching this, J. and I decided to put in an offer on that house that I posted about earlier.  We can't bear to see it come to the same fate.  We'd also like to buy this lot.  Look at that beautiful old walnut tree in the backyard. Wouldn't this be a great place for an orchard?


  1. CP, That old wood could have been put to so many uses. I know it's a lot of work to salvage it but it just breaks my heart that no one care.

    I felt the same way when our neighbor demolished, much like this demolition, many 100 year old oaks along a fence line. He just had them smashed down & put into a burn pile (which probably won't ever be burned). All to make way for a pivot to water whatever crops are grown on his rented land.

    1. DFW, your comment broke my heart. Who would smash 100 year old trees of any kind and put them in burn pile? I would never do that unless I had no choice and, in that case, I'd plant some elsewhere and then have the older trees milled to build a house. To just burn them is really sickening.

  2. I wonder if anyone would object to us pulling out the bricks. I could use them to make walkways through the garden.

    1. I doubt it. Did you see the cops show up over there shortly after they were done tearing it down. Some of the vultures got in a fight over some of the plumbing and they asked the next door neighbor to call the cops. Just the everyday urban circus...

  3. Yes!! Get it and make it an orchard space! It would be beautiful. :)

  4. I'm so sorry we lost that house... but... if that's a black walnut, you'd better check on it to see if you should be planting an orchard near it, it's juglans nigra, and that's toxic to gardens and fruit trees, I think. Hey, do you want some black rat snakes just in case? I have a bargain going on them right now.


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