Dallas Tears Down Ex-Home of Lee Oswald

(WFAA)   Over five years after the apartment complex where Lee Harvey Oswald once lived was bought with plans for renovations, bulldozers tore down the walls of the condemned two-story structure in Oak Cliff.

In the early morning hours Monday before the demolition began, bundled-up onlookers grabbed bricks for keepsakes. Among those was Jose Sorola, an Oak Cliff resident.

“In my opinion, they could have done something with the building,” he said as he watched the demolition. “They could have made a tourist attraction out of that apartment unit.”

Sorola said he gathered up bricks from the site Sunday, as well as a window from Lee Harvey’s unit.

“This is a part of Dallas history,” said Freda Dillard, who said the site was a stop during her John F. Kennedy assassination tour. “I have people very interested in this building on my tours. It’s sad to see another part of Dallas being destroyed.”

Monday morning, crews sprayed water onto the building as a bulldozer rammed the walls of the dilapidated complex, which was the subject of debate between the city and the owner for several years.

In 2007, Jane Bryant bought the complex, located in the 600 block of Elsbeth Street, with the hopes or renovating the structure that was built in 1925.

“I wanted to preserve it,” she said in November.

However, after years of no progress at the building one judge called an “urban nuisance” and health hazard, those hopes were dashed when the city condemned the complex in 2011. In May, the city got a court order to have the building razed.

The residence is mentioned in the Warren Commission report that investigated Kennedy’s death and concluded Oswald acted alone.

Oswald lived at the complex with his wife and daughter for a four-month period from November 1962 to March 1963, eight months before Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

The city estimated demolition and asbestos abatement would run about $52,000 and said it may put a lien on the property to recover its costs.


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