Dallas Demolishes Lee Harvey Oswald's Apartment - NBC Bay Area

Dallas Demolishes Lee Harvey Oswald's Apartment

City of Dallas leveled building where Lee Harvey Oswald once lived.



    A bulldozer tore down the walls of a Dallas apartment building where Lee Harvey Oswald lived a few months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (Published Monday, Jan. 14, 2013)

    After years of decay, the city of Dallas demolished the 88-year old building at Elsbeth and Davis infamous for being where Lee Harvey Oswald lived before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    The demolition of the old apartment building started around 8:30 Monday morning.  By 8:40 the first level unit where the Oswald's are said to have lived was gone.

    Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina lived at the complex from November 1962 to March 1963, eight months before the JFK assasination.

    About a half dozen curious people with a strong sense of history showed up across the street to watch and take pictures of the 88-year old building coming down.

    Jose Sorola told us he wished the Oswald unit could have been saved and perhaps been restored and part of historic tours. But since the city said it had to go, Sorola bought a small piece of it.

    "Yesterday, I came by and actually bought a window from Lee Harvey Oswald's unit number two and what I plan on doing is try to restore it as best as possible, and make it a little display if anybody is interested in using that it'll be nice, perserve a little history, keep the building alive somehow," said Sorola who paid $125 for the window.

    The crumbling building, located at 600 Elsbeth Street, had not been occupied for several years. 

    Jane Bryant, the woman who owns the building, bought it with hopes of restoring the complex, but the City of Dallas condemned the building back in 2011.

    On Sunday evening several people, including Bryant, local artists, and nearby residents showed up to take wood or bricks from the building.

    Freda Dillard, who takes people on JFK assassination tours, said she’s sad to see the building go.

    “People are interested in it," said Dillard. " I have people that come from all over the world to take these tours and they want to see everything, including this apartment building.”

    “It’s very sad," added Dillard. "Tomorrow [Monday] afternoon it’s going to be gone and that’s another piece of history.”

    The city won a court order in May requiring Jane Bryant to tear down the uninhabited 10-unit, two-story apartment complex. It says Bryant failed to act in the allotted time and that allowed the structure to become a nuisance.
    Dallas city spokesman Frank Librio says demolition and asbestos abatement of the building is estimated to cost about $52,000. The city may place a lien on the property to recover that money.

    It's unclear what will become of the space, but the property owner, Jane Bryant, has suggested perhaps it could be a dog park.

    NBC 5's Amanda Guerra and Mark Schnyder contributed to this story.