Former home of Lee Harvey Oswald being demolished

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by JASON WHEELER

WFAA

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 7:45 AM

DALLAS -- If the crumbling walls of an Oak Cliff apartment complex could talk, they might tell a tale of a dark history and a not-too-bright future.

“Lee Harvey Oswald lived in this unit over here,” said Jane Bryant during a tour of the dilapidated property.

When Bryant learned that President Kennedy’s assassin had lived in apartment No. 2 until early 1963, she was instantly taken with the place.

“I wanted to preserve it because I thought it was important," she said.

But after buying the building in 2007, Bryant was ordered to bring it up to code. She complains that one zoning obstacle after another prevented her from doing the necessary work.

In 2011, the city condemned the property, with a demolition deadline set for this Friday. But Bryant has found the demolition process to be as convoluted as her fruitless renovation effort.

She has been ordered to tear down the building, but she said she has been repeatedly denied a permit to do it. So News 8 contacted the city to find out what the problem is. Not long after that, a building inspector showed up here at the property with some answers.

The inspector wouldn’t talk on camera, but told Bryant she can get a permit to do the demolition job on her own, instead of having to pay for an expensive demolition and salvage company. That’s a big breakthrough that she said hasn’t been possible until now.

But, it is bittersweet.

“I am very sad to see it like this," she said. "I never thought it would come to this.”

Bryant is relieved she will be able to save a lot of money; but she is also disheartened that she won’t be able to save a piece of Dallas history.

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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