Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor 

Northeast property owner Joseph Quinn has been keeping an eye on a bulging building wall for more than six months. Quinn owns a rental property next to the century-old six-plex apartment, with a mere 6 feet between the two properties.

Concerned about the impact to both properties, Quinn called the 311 Action Center and reported the issue. That case was still open when the inevitable happened on January 19. The bulging wall gave way, leaving a huge hole in the wall, with bricks, a window, and plaster chunks in a pile on Quinn’s rental property.

Once again, Quinn called 311 to report the collapsed wall. Luckily, no one was injured, but the apartment building’s five remaining units are still occupied as Birdcage Enterprises L.L.C. continues to collect rent. Apparently, their only response to the report of the bulging wall on the first floor apartment last summer was to close it off and place plywood inside the front window.

When Quinn contacted the head honcho for Birdcage Enterprises and asked if they could send someone over to clean up the debris on his property, the response he heard back was that person stating they were afraid to do that because the building might collapse on them.

Let that statement sink in for a minute.

After realizing that neither the property owner or the city’s codes inspector was in a hurry to respond to the situation, Quinn called The Northeast News.  While it is not a situation we could respond to either, we pow wowed and suggested Quinn contact the Kansas City Health Department and their Healthy Homes Inspection Department.

Good answer, right? But no. Because Quinn is not a tenant of the property at 3236 Anderson Avenue, when he called he was told that he could not request an inspection of the property in question. In turn, even though they are in danger of future additional walls collapsing, his tenant, a single mother with three children, can not request an inspection of the property falling down outside their back door. 

In order to document the status of the code violation, Quinn invited the Northeast News onto his property to take photos on Saturday, February 10.

According to the 311 online Parcel Viewer, which collates open cases and their status, the next code inspection for the Anderson property is on February 14. In the meantime, as weeks pass, numerous lives are at stake due to an unsupported wall and additional bulges in other areas.

It would seem that Quinn has done his due diligence, contacting Birdcage Enterprises and his city councilperson as well, but has repeatedly run into a maze of making calls and getting no response.

Let’s suppose that the occupants living in the compromised apartments are not native English speakers. If so, they certainly would not be aware of the services, such as a Healthy Homes inspection, that would be available to them. Let’s also suppose they are somewhat aware of the danger of living in a building with a gaping hole and open to the elements but have no idea how to find safer housing. Birdcage Enterprises certainly isn’t offering it to them and the City’s 311 Action Center clearly is not filling the gaps in the broken wall, quickly or otherwise.