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A good front 

The West Side neighborhood that is home to 16927 Sorrento, near the West McNichols Road and Schaeffer Highway area, has nostalgic value to many Detroiters. Memories of the glow-in-the-dark Pegasus mural on the wall of the long-gone Mercury Theatre, Saturday night boozin’ and schmoozin’ at the defunct Babes nightclub, and record shopping at Detroit Audio, also gone, come to mind while driving the neighborhood.

These defunct businesses are signs that this neighborhood has seen more vibrant days. Even so, 16927 stands out as an aberration on a block full of modest but well-maintained brick homes.

Neighbors say this week’s abandoned house has been empty for a year or so. With decay setting in, especially in the rear of the house, it’s easy to imagine it having a date with the wrecking ball if it’s not purchased and renovated soon.

The front and back are like night and day. Streetside, it appears that nothing more is needed than a few cosmetic fixes. The front window is boarded, the grass is cut and the second floor siding is intact. A walk to the back, however, reveals a need for much more attention. Weeds are tall enough to tower over the back sun porch, which looks weak enough to be thumped apart. All the rear windows on the lower level are broken. Floorboards inside have been damaged, but it’s hard to tell whether it’s by human hands or water.

There are padlocks on the entrances, meaning that an attempt was made to secure the place, at some point. The decay and growth, however, suggest that whoever did may have given up on the joint.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

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