What Happened at 40 Teesdale Place?


  • August 13th, 2002

    Man stabbed to death: Muhunthan Kulasingham, 21, was stabbed to death. Olarenwju Anthony Onigbinde was convicted of the murder in 2004.


  • 1980-2004

    My grandmother lived in 40 Teesdale from 1980-2004. She took over the apartment of her elder sister when she passed away. Her sister had moved into the building when it opened in 1972. I recall visiting my grandmother there a few times in the early 1980's. The building was very clean, and the people were very friendly. My grandmother had many friends throughout the building, and on visits, she took me on "the tour", which was torture on my young cheeks. Senior citizens sure love to pinch kids cheeks. A few busted capillaries as a child, and a tough face in adulthood are a small price to pay for the amount of candy I received. It was like halloween, without the costumes. Senior citizens always seemed to have lots of candy laying around in those days. On those visits, I remember all of the apartment doors being open, and people shouting "hello!" when they saw someone pass by in the hallways. Skip to the early 1990's. The once clean, and inviting building had become dirty and rundown. It even smelled different. On our visits there, we would hold our breaths all the way to the 16th floor, and immediately scrub our hands in the sink when we got to "grandma's house". It was pretty bleak. It was as though one day all maintenance in the building stopped, and we were left with a time capsul, like Pripyat, Ukraine, after the Chernobyl disaster. On each visit it got dirtier, rundown, and scary. We tried for years to get her out of that building, even after her friends there died, or moved on. She wouldn't budge. After a close call, she started carrying a knife around with her when she ventured out of her apartment. On our later visits we took to arming ourselves as well. As more and more trash moved in, the building became dirtier and dirtier. The halls were littered with garbage and soiled diapers. The walls were smeared with God only knows what. On one occasion we boarded the elevator and found that someone had defecated in it. Trash and biological waste aside, the building is crawling with bugs. On one visit, we noted that her bathroom ceiling was covered with tape and wrapping paper. She told us that cockroaches were falling down through the fan. The portion above her bathtub was taped up because a large chunk of the ceiling had fallen down into the tub. As the years went on, more "patches" were applied to her walls and ceiling. These were home made remedies, as building management showed no interest in fixing anything for her. They spread to the kitchen, as large sections of her wall caved in above her stove. Large "curls" of 1970's era paint began falling off the walls, like leaves from trees. The woman who lived across the hall from her also noted the peeling walls in her apartment. Finally in 2004, when she was no longer able to care for herself, we managed to pry her from that dump. What was once a clean and civilized building, has devolved into nothing more than a towering disease-infested, cockroach ridden, third world hell hole, in a city which is fast becoming itself, a third world hell hole. If it were a choice of living there, or death, I'd choose death a thousand times over.


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  • Last updated 5 years ago

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