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Thursday, 02 July 2020

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It took just a few minutes to find this 2016 Wauwatosa Historical Society PDF that mentions Colony Camera and shows the store front as it once was.

8807 W. North Ave.: The former Colony Camera shop was built in the 1930s and continued pumping Standard gas into the early 1980s. A Standard station built in 1938 at 8807 W. North Ave. became the home to Colony Camera in 1983 but has been vacant in recent years. The store owner died in 2006. The new owner has said he hasn’t decided whether to repair the building or redevelop the site.

It happens and not just with old buildings. At least 5-6 years ago on my travels in the Adirondacks it saw a new building go up that had a porch and windows on the front but no door. I was told it was going to be an ice cream shop. It is still sitting there empty. It never opened. I ahve no idea why.

Funny that Ken mentioned toxic landfills. When I was selling for Nikon, I had a dealer who had that exact experience. He bought a nice new lot on which he constructed a made-to-order, long dreamed-of building for his camera store, which had hitherto existed in a cramped old generic storefront. The new building really was nice, as camera stores go (or went, in the 90s).

Then the county discovered severe toxic contamination on the site. It had been a small-scale electronics factory two decades earlier and several owners back, and its operators had a free-spirited attitude towards dumping chemicals any ol' place that seemed convenient.

So my dealer was on the hook for the cleanup and, of course, the land was worthless until decontaminated. He had been tied up in lawsuits against layers of previous owners for several years by the time I met him, but the original polluters had long since dissolved their corporation (no personal liability, remember) and scattered to the four winds. I don't know how the saga ended, but I doubt it was good.

in Ireland abandoned houses in rural areas are common. What happens is the family grow up and emigrate leaving their parents alone. When the parents die their children have no interest in returning to what might be a poverty line existence so the house and small area of land is left to rot

A good friend has an abandoned modernish suburban home across the street, the result of a lottery win, a resulting death and family squabbles. It's been vacant at least 15 years.

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