Despite the frigid temperatures Wednesday morning, neighbors crowded together on an East Lawrence sidewalk, eyes fixed on a house they usually avoid.
"People would not let their children pass by, understandably," said Cindy Suenram, who lives next door to the house with her husband, Arch Naramore. "Friends would come to our home and say they felt intimidated. You would walk by and not look or talk."
During the past two years, neighbors called police to the property at 1200 and 1202 N.Y. more than 30 times. The house contained two apartments.
The property is known to have been the address for Louis G. Galloway, a Lawrence man who earlier this year was convicted of breaking into an apartment and beating the resident. It also was the residence of Michael Parker, a Lawrence man who was convicted in September of making bomb threats against local schools.
Naramore and Suenram believe it was the site of drug use and dealing.
Although it may not sound like an attractive property acquisition, the couple jumped at the chance to buy the building when it went to auction in September. Their bid won, and they decided to tear it down.
"It's hard to tear down someone's home, but this one was in such bad, bad shape," Suenram said.
She and Naramore have no immediate plans for the property. They may eventually build a new home or addition there but said they wanted to finish the demolition as soon as possible.
And they weren't the only ones who braved the cold conditions to say goodbye to the house.
"This is just the coolest thing I've ever seen. I really wanted to see it," said Kistie Patch, who owns the home across the street.
The neighbors watched as a backhoe pulled apart the building. It took only an hour to erase the years of neglect.
"It was real run down and falling apart. The foundation had collapsed, and it was falling inside," Naramore said. "Termites had eaten up all the studs on a lot of the building, and it was just nasty inside. There's so much trash and stuff."