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Lee Harvey Oswald's Apartment Building Is Coming Down, Dallas Declares

After more than a year of legal wrangling, the city of Dallas has apparently decided enough is enough.

It is sending contractors to an apartment building once lived in by presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to tear the dilapidated structure down.

Oswald, who fired the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, lived with his wife Marina in Apt. No. 2 at 600 Elsbeth St. in the north Oak Cliff neighborhood from November 1962 until March 1963, according to the Dallas Morning News.

For about the last 18 months, the newspaper says, the city has been trying to get property owner Jane Bryant to tear the place down because it's falling apart and is thought to be a threat to public safety.

Today, senior assistant city attorney Andrew Gilbert wrote to Bryant's attorney to say that several deadlines for the work to have been finished have now passed and in the meantime the property's condition has worsened and the building has become "an attractive nuisance to vandals."

So, city-organized wrecking crews are supposed to be on the scene starting today. Their first order of business will be dealing with asbestos that needs to be contained before the walls can come down.

Last month, the Morning News wrote about how Bryant was trying to capitalize on the building's link to infamy. "Many pieces — such as the bathtub, toilet and medicine cabinet — from the Oswald's Apartment No. 2 have been sold and hauled away," it reported. "Bring your hammer, saw, crowbar, strong friends. Anyone and anything to help you take away what you want of what's left. Oh, and bring cash. Bryant is selling the stuff. 'Of course, I'm not going to charge a lot,' she told us."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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