BALTIMORE – Sitting on a crumbling stoop on Herbert Street in West Baltimore, 71-year-old Salim Sadiki could almost see his childhood playing out before him.
Now, the block looks nothing like it did when Sadiki was a boy. Each rowhome now sits abandoned. Some roofs have caved in. Boards are fastened to the doors, window frames. The street is littered with garbage.
In one hour, the home where Sadiki lived would be demolished. For now, green space will take its place, but the lot could someday be a laundry, a supermarket, a community center for neighborhood children.
The section of Herbert Street is one of many abandoned blocks slated for demolition through Project CORE, a $94 million initiative to raze a chunk of the 17,000 vacant houses that have come to symbolize the deep social divide in Baltimore.