How Much Does the City Fine Itself When Its Own Buildings Aren't Up to Code?

This morning I left a message for Joey Zapata, head of code compliance, to ask how the city handles city-owned buildings that fall out of compliance. Like this one, for instance: This is the former Fire Station No. 35 on on Walnut Hill Lane near Marsh, a circa-1953 structure replaced in December 2008 by the fire station decorated with Eliseo Garcia's sculpture series "Elemental Forces," my second-favorite Triumph album.

I drive by it twice a day and noticed Saturday that someone done busted out a window. This is how it looked this morning. I got out of the car and poked around a little. Place looks like it's been abandoned since 1954. And, last I looked, the old Bachman Lake library on Marsh and Northwest Highway was in bad shape too. For a long while it had some wood covering busted-out windows. Classy.

I did speak to someone in code today. I asked her who tends to empty city-owned buildings with, ya know, issues. Said she: "We do, once we know about them." Which is small comfort, because last I looked the city isn't even sure how many buildings it owns.

Maybe we ought to move it downtown.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky