Although new single-family homes line nearby Longwood Avenue, the apartment building that is home to “Life on Dawson St.” is a shambles. Few tenants are left; its storefront is empty and many of its windows are broken.
Pointing at the sculpture, Daniel Holmes, a high school student who lives nearby, observes, “It makes it look like the people are homeless.”
That condition is just temporary, promises Harry Derienzo, president of the community development nonprofit Banana Kelly, which manages the apartment building.
According to Derienzo, tenants were encouraged to relocate temporarily to other residences, so that construction crews could begin work on the building, which has structural problems.
Construction is scheduled to begin on October 29, and to take three to four months to complete. After that, the tenants will be invited to move back, and the storefronts will be leased out.
And the fate of “Life on Dawson St.”? Derienzo promises it will not be harmed. “I love that mural,” he says. “I think it’s great.”
A version of this story appeared in the March 2010 issue of The Hunts Point Express.