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The uninhabited home at 451 Jackson St. S.E.
Daily photo by Evan Belanger
The uninhabited home at 451 Jackson St. S.E.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: Part of the Albany Historic District, the Troup House is at 451 Jackson St., at Sixth Avenue, one of Decatur’s busiest thoroughfares. A placard on the structure states it was built in 1915.

Description: The uninhabited home is being renovated. Discarded construction materials are in the backyard. A two-wheeled trailer is balanced precariously at the front steps, propped up with unsplit firewood.

Grass, weeds and other vegetation is tall and unmanaged.

A building permit posted at the home expired more than a month ago, according to the Decatur Building Department.

Property owner: Decatur resident David Smith purchased the home in January. Smith told The Daily he will eventually move into the house. He is renovating the aging structure.

“The people that had it before, they just neglected it and neglected it,” he said. “I mean the front porch was rotted off from it when I got it.”

Smith said he did not know when he will complete work on the home.

“I know I need to get over there and cut the grass, but I’m working on it like they work on all old houses,” he said.

Ordinance: Decatur’s weed, junk and litter ordinance states grass and weeds must be less than 12 inches tall and ornamental vegetation must not remain in an overgrown or unmanaged condition.

In addition, the ordinance forbids property owners from storing on their property any scrap or junk material unless in an enclosed, covered structure.

Responsible officials: The home is in Decatur City Council District 2, represented by Councilman David Bolding.

David Lee, a code enforcement officer for the Community Development Department, said the city has not received any complaints about the property. He said he would investigate. He also said possession of a building permit does not exempt the property from complying with other city codes.

Let us know if you’re tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood. Contact contact Decatur’s weed, junk and litter hot line at 341-4963. Or contact The Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or

Evan Belanger

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