Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Destruction in Progress

Diagonally across Front Street from Fernley House is a derelict lumber yard. (See Google Street View of the building here.) Ever since we moved in, we wondered what was going on over there, because there seemed to be people coming and going, but no clean-up work to restore the building. A few weeks ago, Lisa found out when the local fire chief turned up and red-tagged the building and called in the sheriff because of the nature of the business being conducted.

According to the fire chief when he came by to interview Lisa (and everyone else in the neighborhood), they were running an unlicensed bordello out of this building! Lyon County, like most of the non-urban counties of Nevada, allows prostitution, but it's tightly controlled and licensed. They certainly had no permit here! Furthermore, they didn't even have electricity or other basic services in that fire-trap of a building, where they were using candles and kerosene heaters to heat the place.

The fire chief took notice of the building, and once he confirmed that it was commercial property, exercised his authority to conduct an unannounced inspection, whereupon he found out the horrible state of the building and the illegal business being conducted therein. The latter was the sheriff's problem, but the former he dealt with by red-tagging the building as unfit for habitation. The sheriff cleared out the illegal bordello, and Union Pacific, on whose property the building sits, was ordered to clear things up. The building was promptly boarded up and temporary fencing installed around it to keep people out. Yesterday, we saw an environmental clean-up company working around and inside the building. We wondered what UP was going to do about it.

Today, we found out when a demolition company showed up and started to attack the building. As we were walking back from the post office after lunch, we saw them off-loading equipment to tackle demolition. I quickly went over and snapped some photos.

Here's the view from Front Street. You can see the low-boy trailer on the right.

We walked around the building. You see Lisa here (bundled up against the rain that was falling this afternoon) looking at the building through the safety fence. We noticed that there was a serviceable-looking red cart just inside the fence and wondered if there was any way we could get it.

(By the way, Lisa has not developed a hunchback: she's carrying travelswithkuma in a backpack under her raincoat.)

Believe it or not, except for the boarded-up windows and the fence, this part of the building didn't look much different than it did before it was condemned.

By the time we finished circling the building, they were already starting to tear it apart with the claw here. Lisa went over to the foreman and said, "Could I have the shopping cart over there?"

The foreman said, "Sure!"

Lisa told me, "Hurry! Run in there and grab it!"

I quickly dashed inside the open fence (this was at the far end from where the destruction had commenced) and picked up the cart, which is one of those folding carts useful for taking a bag of groceries home from the store. I got back out and we examined it: it appears to be in serviceable condition, so we took it home, giving a friendly wave to the foreman as old trees and bits of derelict building began to fall.

It was cold and rainy outside this afternoon, but we had a ringside seat to the destruction by looking out our front window. Demolition work went surprisingly fast. I wish I'd had my camera out when they ripped down the old sign out front, because I had actually walked over there to have a closer look when they got around to it. (Aside from the brief-but-informally-authorized foray to retrieve the cart, we always kept back a safe distance from the building.)

Around 4 PM as sunset neared, the crew brought in a front-loader and secured the site for the day. I wish I'd remembered to go over to take the same angle on the building as the first photo above. (I'll try to remember to do that tomorrow morning before they start work.)

We're pleased that they're tearing that building down. Not only was it an ugly eyesore, and now we know it was a disaster waiting to happen, but also we'll also have a clearer view of the railroad tracks to the west of our front porch.
Tags: fernley, lisa, trains

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