Mayor Faison Commits to demolish Cramer Hill's 2009 Ugliest House Winner

Br. Jerry and Antonio "crowning" the winner, 923 North 27th Street

August 27, 2009

And the Cramer Hill 2009 UGLIEST HOUSE Award goes to; 923 North 27th Street 

At 11:00 this morning Cramer Hill/CCOP faith communities (St. Anthony of Padua and Hope Memorial Baptist) with partner Cramer Hill CDC meet with 60+ residents and Mayor Gwendolyn Faison to announce the winner of this year's Ugly House Contest. See photos here.

The meeting started with a prayer rally at St. Anthony of Padua church followed by a community procession to this year's winner, 923 North 27th Street.   Outside the house, community members then stapled banners and signs on the house marking it with this less then prestigious award.

Congregated in front of the building the group then listened to two testimonies. The first came from Zoraida Gonzalez-Torres, long time resident of Cramer Hill, CCOP leader, and member of St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral Church.  "Why is this expectable in Camden?" Ms. Gonzalez-Torres shouted out.  "Nowhere else can you stand on a city block and see a burnt out building in every direction." 

Following Zoraida was Manny Delgado, Director of Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation, "Millions of dollars leave Camden because there is not a strong retail base, with this house demolished, along with the three next to it, this corridor could become a thriving business section that would keep money in Camden."

At the meeting's end, community leaders then asked City of Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison to commit to demolish this building,  move on finding more funding for other imminent hazards demolitions, and to approve such things as the Cramer Hill Now plan and the CCDA pilot Abandoned Properties Act.

"I may not have much more time left in office, but I will work to get this down before I leave," exclaimed Mayor Faison.  "I'm tired of trash and burnt out buildings something has got to be done."  With this statement she got on the phone with public works and started moving. 

According to the office of Code Enforcement, 923 North 27th Street is number 6 on a list of 16 "imminent hazards" in Camden, some of which were labeled as such as far back as August 2008.