Scurry Mansion

The CircMaybe you missed it — it was over in the blink of an eye — but last Saturday the high-rise Towne House Apartments just off Hollywood ArtsPark were blasted into asbestos dust. The plan is to replace the hideous eyesore with a 25-story tower packed with almost 400 luxury apartments, a boutique hotel, grocery store, a high-end restaurant, shops, and part-time international residents with pickable pockets. More coverage here.

Not too many people mourn Towne House’s passing. Built by Hollywood founder Joseph Young in 1924, the structure had long ago degenerated into little more than a vertical flophouse, an encyclopedia of code violations. History shmistory, y’know? Next one down will be the Great Southern, which is kept erect only by its termites holding hands.

(You can find footage of the demolition on Facebook. I’d link it, but I think that might accidently violate the poster’s privacy settings.)

The big problem now: approximately 10 million cockroaches have been left homeless. Why didn’t the city anticipate this tragedy? I call City Hall, and eventually get Hortensia Bludbauble, a Social Services Outreach Worker.

roach_cartoon1“Oh, this wasn’t an unexpected development,” she tells me, breezily. “Remember when they tore down the Pirate Inn in Dania?  And the City of Hollywood is very concerned about our domicile challenged population. We’re constantly encouraging them to seek assistance, ideally somewhere else.”

Compassionate commuting.  But what about the roaches?

“Well, the Wildlife Rescue Center told us they’d take whatever we brought in, but cautioned us that their policy is to release creatures once they’re healthy and self-sufficient, so in effect all we’d be doing was relocating them, which is what they could manage just as well without our intervention.”

Unlike homeless humans whom you round up and deport. Any thoughts about capturing them and selling them to tourists? Brand them as Exotic Everglades Palmetto Bugs, quiet, easy to care for, domesticated, etc.?

“One of our people had an idea like that. Another wondered if they could be processed into something edible. Preferably with bacon.”

Yeah, bacon makes everything better. But I think that’s already working locally — ever eaten down at the Broadwalk? There’s even a place where you pick your own roaches out of a tank. Or right off the floor, if you like them them au naturel.

“We were disappointed by the Human Society’s response, though. They told us their policy is not to get involved with anything 6-legged.”


“I know, right? So we ended up giving Sean Cononie a call. If nothing else, he’s creative when it comes to dealing with the homeless.”

That’s the word I’d use, creative. It’s litigation resistant. And?

“Well, he said he’d take ‘em off our hands and find housing for ‘em, but he’d need to work up a budget first, and when he finally delivered it we thought it was high — charging by the unit rather than volume. And then we just ran out of time.”

So millions of cockroaches end up on the streets of downtown Hollywood. And let me guess — nobody knows where they are now or what they’re up to.

“Oh, they’ll turn up,” she laughs. “After all, lots of ‘em have close friends and family in government here and on the City Commission. I imagine a lot will head north to Dania Beach, too — lots of cozy abandoned buildings just waiting for new infestations. And there’s always the canals. Cockroaches love it here, you know. Just like French Canadians, but bigger spenders.”

Yeah, and they stay year-round.

“Hollywood By the Sea — a tropical paradise! Ask any cockroach!”

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14 Responses to Scurry Mansion

  1. Merkin Way says:

    As a developer I’ve argued with Hollywood for years about demolition issues. What is comes down to is, Just because a building is old (which by local standards means about 75 years, a joke in itself) that doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile, valuable, or historic. Towne House was a dump and should have been removed in the 90’s when its owners more or less abandoned it. Great Southern should have been leveled decades ago, too. Trouble is you have a lot of petty and selfish people in charge with no vision for the city or region, which drags everybody down. It took 30 years to figure out what to do with the Casino property on the beach, and in my opinion, they STILL made a less than great decision. Time will tell, although I’ll be gone.

    • Kent Standit says:

      News this week is all about Great Southern. It’s coming down, but they;ll preserve a piece of the exterior, sort of like a slab of the Berlin Wall. All this construction is certain to change downtown Hollywood, and people will argue for and against. More traffic, more crowding, more noise,. etc. Also more action, more money, more businesses, etc. I say grow up, Hollywood. You want a dead-end low slung no-action backwater town, go north a few miles to Dania.

      • Wonton Amaro says:

        Kent: There’s nothing wrong with Dania that a tactical nuclear device wouldn’t resolve. Then all that would be left is the roaches. And Keith Richards, if he’s in town.

  2. Travis T says:

    What a waste of money. Had the city told Israel there were innocent Palestinean women and children in there, they would have bombed the building for us!

  3. Lois Terms says:

    I remember reading a few stories about this place when they were handing out eviction notices for the few remaining residents, and every one of them mentioned the roach population. Ugh.

  4. Rollo Nickels says:

    I call Bullshit. The Wildlife Center wouldn’t take the roaches because they’re an invasive species, like New Yorkers. Besides, if they’d paid their rent on time, they’d still have a place to live like their brethren in the motels and convenience stores along US-1. I call Bullshit! BULLSHIT!!

    • Mister E says:

      You’re onto something, Rollo, wtih that line about paying their rent on time. What I heard is, the roaches had a falling out with their hired lobbyist who’d been keeping the wreckers away, so he abandoned them, cut a different deal, and let ’em all go to hell. That’s what happens in Hollywood when you screw with developers and Alan Koslow.

  5. Barbara Ganousch says:

    How do we get the Hollywood Bread Building on the demolition list?

    • Mr Schwinnickle says:

      I second that one! While we are at it start at Sheridan Street going north through Dania upto Old Griffin Road. Leave Jaxson’s and Jimmies and take the rest away. Especially those antique shops selling junk.

      • Diesel Fitter says:

        Don’t even THINK about fucking with Tarks or I’m up your ASS with an oyster shucker.

  6. Mr Schwinnickle says:

    Oh Diesel Fitter, you must be related to Denny the Dania Transvestite. Thank you for that offer for laying pipe…… Yeah, Tarks is a dive too!

    • Diesel Fitter says:

      I agree that Tarks is a dive. It’s also great at what it does. Its also doping a great business, which is no easy thing in Dania. Actually, the fact that it’s doing so well is a reason Dania MIGHT shut it down.

  7. Lois Terms says:

    I love Tarks, despite having been poisoned there once. Mild case. Shit happens.

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