Yesterday afternoon, a brick row house at 600 Madison Avenue between New Scotland Avenue and Robin Street collapsed as a crew excavated the adjacent lot. The lot had been vacant since a serious fire in late 2007 gutted the brick house at 598 Madison Avenue. Despite the efforts of historic preservationists, the fire-damaged house had been demolished and, as of yesterday, new construction was underway on the site.
No tenants were at home at the time of the collapse, but the building and their possessions were a complete loss. This afternoon, as demolition crews tore down the wreckage, at least one worker was picking through the debris to retrieve a few items for the residents...college textbooks, a lamp. Framed pictures and clothing could be see still hanging in what was left of the upper apartments.
All Over Albany - Madison row house collapse
Times Union - Construction leads to destruction
On a personal note: I was sitting on a rock beside the lake in Washington Park directly across the street from 600 Madison Avenue yesterday afternoon. As I texted a friend, I felt a tremor and wondered if it was a small earthquake or a passing truck. What I felt was the row house collapsing at that moment. Oddly enough, I did not hear a sound.