Rose-colored slum

If you squint your eyes enough you can almost envision a storybook setting for the house standing silently at 503 Ashland St. in Detroit. Rosebushes still grow along the fence in heavy bloom and the only real signs of neglect and abandonment come from the blatantly boarded windows, crumbling porch, thick overgrowth of a now-wild yard and an appraised price of $6,000.

Maybe this house does have a little more class than the others. After all, it does border right on Grosse Pointe Park. Manal Zakar, who works next door to the house at Manistique Market, told the Abandoned Structure Squad (ASS to our friends) even though she thinks the owner died a few months ago, she still can’t understand why someone doesn’t do something about fixing it and the rest of the rundown buildings in the neighborhood. “They fix the ones down the block on the other side,” Zakar said. “I don’t know how they don’t do anything about these. That one has been abandoned for five or six years.” Zakar said the only good thing that has happened to the house was when the doors and windows were boarded up.

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