For years, we’ve wondered about two blighted buildings next door to the SOSNA office. This office is a huge resource, providing information, recycling bins, and more to neighborhood residents, but the two buildings next door are peek into the neighborhood’s (surprisingly) recent past, when hundreds of vacant properties littered the neighborhood.

SOSNA office

Thru the trees

Still hard to tell with all the greenery, but you see what we mean

One of the buildings, 816 S 19th St., looks like it was a duplex at some point in its recent past. 814 S 19th St. features a commercial space with plywood covering the front window; it probably had a couple of apartments above at one point. Looking at these buildings in 1953, you see they were once in pretty good shape.

Certainly was better back then

Looking at the rear of the buildings, you gain a real appreciation for just how bad they’re looking today.


So… who is responsible for this? Unfortunately, we’re not sure. Public record is inconsistent in terms of who owns these buildings. According to OPA, the two buildings are owned by Dennis Milstein, a gentleman who owns a few dozen rental properties in the neighborhood. Most, if not all of Milstein’s other properties are occupied rental properties, however. According to the Revenue Department, the buildings, along with the abutting vacant lot on Webster St., are owned by an individual named Jennie Russell. The Revenue Department also indicates that taxes haven’t been paid on these three properties since 2006.

The buildings have numerous citations on them, but L&I can’t decide on who to serve. So these buildings continue to rot.

Any ideas on what can be done here?