Nestled in the heart of Andrew Square is Liberty Place – a small dead-end street lined with new luxury condos in addition to some older homes.
Located a stones throw away from the troubled Mass + Cass area, Liberty Place residents have had a fair share of city crime on their small street from packages getting stolen, to cars broken to lesser infractions like plus littering hypodermic needles and loitering. But the latest “situation”, well, the latest was the straw that broke the camel’s back. See item #9 in the letter below. Yes, someone went #2 on the property.
See Letter below from the residents of Liberty Place
To Whom it May Concern:
The residents of Liberty Place, the dead-end street which abuts the Saint Monica’s Parish property, write to formally request a solution to the fence pass-through located between the church property and Liberty Place.
In the past year alone, we have experienced several violating and unsafe incidents including, but not limited to:
- Constant loitering and littering on private property, resulting in hours of cleanup;
- Discarded hypodermic needles on the sidewalk and street;
- Significant and prolonged noise from passersby during all hours of the night;
- Property damage to the privately-owned and maintained fence abutting the church property;
- Vandalism in the form of a dead rodent placed on our front steps by a trespasser in the fall of 2020;
- Theft of a bicycle in September of 2020;
- Three instances of theft from vehicles in August of 2021;
- Countless instances of package theft, most notably of a package valued at approximately $1800 in September 2021;
- An individual trespassing and defecating on private property in October 2021, resulting in the need for biohazard cleanup.
Many of these incidents have been caught on our security camera, and clearly depict the perpetrators using the pass-through at the end of the street as their point of entry and/or egress. As a result, we have collectively suffered monetary and property loss, health risks, and severe harm to the feelings of safety and security to which we are entitled while living on a small, otherwise quiet street occupied by a tight-knit group of neighbors. We are sensitive to the needs of the community that has come to rely on this pass-through over the years, but we request that the community respect our needs as well. We merely ask that the church place a higher value on the safety and security of our neighborhood and its residents, rather than on the convenience afforded to individuals who prefer to pass more quickly between Devine Way and Preble Street.
It is our sincere belief that a permanent fence or other structure would significantly abate this issue, as our street is comprised of only three residences and, if not for this shortcut, offers little reason to invite foot traffic. Of course, when living in a city, passersby are inevitable; however, part of the initial allure of living on Liberty Place was the sense of privacy granted by the small dead-end street tucked behind a church. This misconception was quickly corrected when we observed the enormous volume of foot traffic passing through the church shortcut each day. Allowing a permanent fence to block this shortcut would help immeasurably to restore our feelings of safety and security in our home.
Community members have been in contact with Father Peter DeFazio of St. Monica’s Parish since at least August of 2020 requesting a solution to these problems. Father Peter provided assurance that he would facilitate the construction of a fence in October 2020. However, this project was not completed until Pattie McCormick, of the Andrew Square Civic Association, worked diligently to secure the funding for a fence in April 2021. The fence, however, was inexplicably removed shortly after its installation. Since then, the issues have not only continued, but have escalated in nature. Father Peter has since expressed that he would be willing to have a gate that locks at night; this solution, while a welcome start, is insufficient as the majority of these instances have occurred in broad daylight.
We would prefer to resolve this situation amicably and maintain a cooperative relationship with St. Monica’s Parish and the Gavin Foundation. However, due to the serious and increasingly concerning incidents that have occurred, coupled with over a year of inaction on the part of the church and the Foundation, we are prepared to take more formal steps.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.