East Boston residents concerned over crumbling building

East Boston residents concerned over crumbling building

BOSTON — A building in East Boston is crumbling and the falling debris is scaring people who live nearby.

A concerned neighbor posted pictures on social media after strong winds and rain rolled through Eastie. The images show pieces of 32 Orleans Street hanging off and scattered on the sidewalk.

Bonnie Lawrence lives next door and walks by every day.

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"It got kind of fixed up recently, but it just started falling apart," she said. "There was like a ton of rain, and then it was like, OK, this building is melting."

However, the only sign that the building is unsafe is tape that says "Inspectional Services, Keep Away."

On Thursday night, Boston 25 News watched a lot of people walk by 32 Orleans Street.

In January, Boston's Inspectional Services department found the building was "unsafe and [a] dangerous structure, the front of [the] building's structural sheeting and siding is loose and falling onto [the] sidewalk [and] street."

Residents inside were forced to leave and the owner was ordered to make repairs.

Last month, when a North End condominium building was deemed unsafe and condemned, the sidewalk was closed to walkers.

We tried to find out why the same wasn't done on Orleans Street. When we asked who makes that decision, an Inspectional Services spokesperson said, "It can depend on whoever gets to the issue first and determines there is a safety issue; [Boston Police], [Inspectional Services], or [Public Works]."

Taylor Beaton, who lives across the street, says there is a lot of foot traffic in the area.

"A lot of people walk in front of that building every day... Someone should get it tested and see. I'm not really sure if it should be closed or not, but I usually walk on this side of the street just to avoid it," she said.

"I guess it is dangerous to have it falling apart, especially if people are walking by," said Lawrence. "Anything [they can] do to prevent it from hurting anybody would be great."

Property records show the owner only lives about a mile from Orleans Street. We knocked on his door, but no one answered.