A missing horror: Vassh Excavating demolishes a house at 800 College Ave., in photos and video | Local News

On Wednesday, Vassh Excavating began demolishing a large six-unit home located at 800 College Ave., kitty corner of the Racine County Courthouse.

“It has been an eyesore and a downfall for years,” Vassh co-owner Sarah Vassh wrote in a message to the Journal Times. “The neighbors are so happy he will be gone.”

In November 2017, a fire damaged the garage. In January 2021, a woman was shot in the chest in the building in an apparent murder-suicide attempt that put the lives of others at risk as bullets ripped through the walls. Then, two months later, 10 people who were still living there were moved after an electrical fire led Racine firefighters to realize further electrical problems which forced the evacuation of the house.

Drug overdoses, shootings and suicides have also been reported at the house, according to Vassh, who said a former resident told workers demolishing the condemned building that she was happy to see it gone.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Urban Health noted “More Than Just An Eyesore”: rates of gonorrhea, premature mortality, diabetes, and suicide, even after controlling for confounding by sociodemographic factors. The presence of vacant homes has also been associated with higher levels of crime and illegal activities such as prostitution, drug dealing, and teenage drug use.

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