Fixes Begin at Columbia Heights Horror House


Photo by Sarah Portlock/BHB

Workers are replacing the roof at 194 Columbia Heights this week after huge wind gusts blew chunks of debris off the roof and onto the street below last week.

The roofers started work on Tuesday and one worker estimated that the project could take all week, depending on the weather.

On Feb. 13, emergency responders closed the street after 65-mph winds blasted apart four or five pieces of the roof, which rained down onto the street, said an eyewitness who works across the street at The Standish.

The Department of Buildings was at the scene on Friday to inspect the damage after getting a complaint from police officers that were on the scene.

The long-neglected townhouse has sat unused for nearly a decade, and is locked in what sources say is a bitter divorce dispute between its owners. In the meantime, the house’s windowsills and cornices are crumbling.

According to public records, it was last sold in 1986 to Austin Moore, a psychiatrist with an office nearby at 123 Henry Street. Dr. Moore did not immediately return a call for comment, but recently told the Eagle that he would “probably surprise everybody by doing some improvements this spring.”

He also noted that he would be fixing up the roof.

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  • Nancy

    This is the house owned by the crazy psychiatrist?
    How off the deep end does one have to be to allow multi-million dollar investment like this to molder away?
    Why do we have so many batty old-timers in the Heights?
    Was this the neighborhood of choice for totally unhinged families back in the 60’s?

  • John Wentling

    That’s so funny Nancy, because in hindsight, I suppose there were a lot of “unhinged” folks in the Heights – and you’d have to be a little off kilter to let a multi-million dollar brownstone sit and rot, and without any concern for the neighbors, much less the neighborhood.

    I’ve an idea, maybe that unhinged organization ACORN could “liberate” it?

  • Jazz

    Yeah free markets! Free will! Everything will adjust itself! Humans are at their very core honest and trustworthy!!

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. – John Stuart Mill

  • David

    Yes… the owner is a complete whack-job. I feel sorry for his psychiatric patients who, like that house, will just get worse and worse the longer they stay with him. For years people have been offering him millions of dollars for that decrepit house, and he spurns them all in favor of letting things deteriorate more. I don’t hate him, because he is clearly suffering from some mental defect, but I am nevertheless shocked by how self-centered and self-defeating he has behaved over the years.

  • Stan

    If he’s crazy then let’s offer all of our matchbox cars, some pocket lint and a box of tic tacs for the home. Perhaps that will ring his bell.

  • Nancy

    I think he’s crazy but not stupid.
    “A mental defect” is putting it mildly.