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SOUTHWEST : 4 Buildings Designated 16th Quake Ghost Town

October 23, 1994|LUCILLE RENWICK

The Los Angeles Housing Department recently designated four buildings near La Cienega Boulevard the 16th "ghost town" damaged by the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake.

"There is not a high concentration of damage in the area" in terms of the numbers of buildings, said Capri Wiggins, Housing Department project manager for the new ghost town in the 1600 block of Corning Street.

"But there is a lot of damage to these buildings with graffiti and vagrants sleeping inside and starting small fires," Wiggins said.

Three duplexes and one four-unit apartment building sustained more than $150,000 in damage from the January temblor, Wiggins said. Tenants vacated all of the buildings, leaving them open to squatters, drug users and vandals.

Even the carpet in one of the buildings is scarred by graffiti. Empty malt liquor bottles litter the floors and remains of small fires mar the sinks in some of the apartments.

The duplex that received the least damage from the quake--$30,000--was destroyed by arson on Oct. 10, Wiggins added. City housing officials designated the area a ghost town three days later.

Officials in the Housing Department's earthquake recovery program had been trying since August to get the small block designated a ghost town after Councilman Nate Holden's office alerted them to the problems. The block is in Holden's 10th Council District.

As a ghost town, the area now receives 24-hour security. Wiggins said city officials will board up the four buildings and will schedule them for demolition.

Another ghost town located nearby in West Adams contains a cluster of damaged single-family houses and a couple of duplexes and multiunit dwellings.

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