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1178 Lincoln Ave., Glendale

By April L. Martin · July 2nd, 2003 · Blight of the Week
April L. Martin

Address: 1178 Lincoln Ave., Glendale

Owner: Jeanna Gray

Year Built: 1961

Value: $59,400

Comments: Morris Roebuck, the builder and former owner of this house, was a contractor. But he didn't take care of his own property. Citations against the house date back to 1978, when Roebuck applied for a building permit for a rear addition.

Twenty-five years later the addition remains unfinished and a small jungle has sprouted.

"The standing water in the backyard is a health concern because of West Nile virus and animals," says Glendale Police Chief Matthew E. Fruchey.

The house has been a source of recurrent complaints, according to Fruchey.

"There was always something wrong with his property," he says. "Most of the complaints were for junk cars and grass."

The house went into foreclosure. Then someone purchased it, allowing Roebuck to stay as long as he made payments to the owner. But the payments weren't made. Jeanna Gray, Roebuck's daughter, bought the house and tried evicting him when he refused to leave.

The Hamilton County Health Department inspected the house late last year and, finding no furnace, hot water or kitchen, declared it uninhabitable.

Katie Saturday, 94, who lives next door, complained for years about the property. Saturday says she's afraid to go in her backyard because animals scurry from the overgrowth.

When Roebuck developed cancer, Saturday took him food and visited him. He's now in a Forest Park nursing home.

Gray plans to demolish the house and rebuild. Several days after a reporter's inquiry, she dispatched workers to clean the property, according to Saturday.

"Gray has made more progress in a year to improve the condition than (Roebuck) has the whole time he owned it," Fruchey says.

Gray was unavailable for comment.

BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings -- and who's responsible for them.



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