A heroic rescue saved the owner, but this historic home may be doomed.
In October, Ann Arbor fire chief Mike Kennedy presented commendations to five people who'd rescued an elderly man from a burning house in September. The "civilian lifesaving awards" recognized three young men touring the town after a U-M football game, and a father and daughter on their way to the airport. Both groups spotted the fire on S. Main and stopped to help.
For years, people who pass by the former Washtenaw County Road Commission site across from the Ann Arbor Y have wondered why something hasn't been done to what is universally agreed is an eyesore. The buildings haven't been touched since 2007, when the city departments located there moved out. The grounds are a mix of broken cement and dirt.
The city would like to see something built there, but there are a number of obstacles. For starters, after more than eighty years of housing trucks and fuel, the soil and water table are contaminated.
From Laurence Baker:
"This is a large card advertising A. B.'s services at 515 E. Liberty Street. One can see that he continues to offer horse boarding at 528 Jefferson St."
When my husband and I were first married in the mid-1960s, we often wandered down to Argo Park, which was only two blocks away from our home on Pontiac Tr. We'd go into what was then Wirth's Canoe Livery, in a building which the family also lived in, and put a dime in one of their nickelodeons or sit on the screen porch and enjoy the view of the Huron River.
We were always the only ones there. After we had our first child, we would take him down to the playground at Longshore Park across from Argo, and again we were always the only ones there.