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Emotional rescue 

It’s a good thing Michigan isn’t located in the hurricane belt, because the abandoned house at 1650 Putnam St. in Detroit’s Woodbridge Historic District looks like it could be toppled by one swift wind.

The structure was built in 1880 according to the city of Detroit’s property inquiry Web site, and neighbors say it has been vacant since its previous occupant died about a year ago. Since then, it has fallen into disrepair, its sagging side porch and loose shingles a testimony to months of neglect.

Two neighbors, Sara Makowski and Carol Forsythe, are seeking to buy the house. But Forsythe says they are having trouble procuring it from the state, which took control of it after the previous occupant’s death. They hope their recent acquisition of a quit claim deed will facilitate the process.

If they are able to purchase the property, Forsythe says the women want to either restore the current house or build a new one. Eventually, she says they plan to sell the home to a permanent resident, rather than rent it out and act as landlords.

While Forsythe says she knows that the project could consume a great deal of time and money, she says she and Makowski are willing to undertake it for the betterment of the community.

“If you don’t [invest in such projects] then there’s no neighborhood,” she says. “It’s emotional in a way.”

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

Check out all of our Abandoned Shelters of the Week

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