Lately it seems like every dump we decide to profile on this page turns out to be slated for imminent demolition — the gas station in North Deering, the gas station on Brighton Ave., the old car wash in Bath. This old warehouse on Kennebec Street in Bayside has been crumbling for many years. The month we decide to write about it half of it gets torn down by a backhoe and carted away. Go figure.
Located behind the big Forest Avenue postal facility and across from Century Tire, half of this dump is owned and still used by the tire company. Century Tire celebrated its impressive 85th anniversary this summer. The squat concrete-block structure it uses to store tires is just over 60, and looks it.
The other half, however, was much worse. All the windows were either blocked in or boarded over. Broken glass panes hung above broken glass blocks. A section at the end was partially demolished, providing access to a nightmarish interior. Ragged scraps of fabric hung from the wood-framed ceiling; bum trash and rubble littered the floor.
This section of the structure, built nine years before Century Tire’s half, had become a squat. “Folks were living in there, and not doing nice things in there, so to speak,” said Greg Shinberg, the project consultant on the job. The property is owned by Ted West, who has developed three large office buildings in the vicinity (including the AAA building on Marginal Way, Gorham Savings Bank’s Bayside offices, and the Intermed building and parking garage).
The warehouse was already a bomb-site when West picked it up five years ago. Community Oil Company had used it for storage sometime last century (the company’s name was barely visible on a rusted metal sign along the top of this part of the dump).
West is building a new warehouse space on the site that will be used by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and other tenants of his properties. Shinberg said the wood-frame structure with cement-board siding will be a “secure, simple building,” and should be completed in about two months. Century Tire’s half of the warehouse will also be spruced up later this year.
The partial razing and rebuilding of this eyesore is another small step in the slogging transformation of Bayside from industrial jungle to white-collar wonderland. I suppose we should do our part to speed things along by picking another dump in the neighborhood to feature next month.
— Chris Busby