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This article was originally posted by the BuffaloRising on January 8th, 2013.

Residents in the Columbus Park/Prospect Hill Neighborhood have made repeated attempts to notify officials that the historic, landmarked Episcopal Church Home is unsecured and being vandalized. The residents remain frustrated as attempts to have the issue resolved through housing court, the 311 call center, and a direct appeal to the owner, Episcopal Church Home Affiliates, have gone unanswered.

Property owners in the adjacent neighborhood have legitimate concerns for the security and safety of the seven-acre site in the shadow of the Peace Bridge, including the beautiful Hutchinson Chapel. The entire property has been slated for demolition in favor of the controversial expansion of the bridge plaza.

Entirely fed up with the lack of response, a group of concerned neighbors will be personally securing the grounds today at 5:00 PM, with hardware and materials purchased by area residents. Two large gates have had the locks clipped and remain totally open, allowing for easy access to the site.

Peterjoe Certo, a dedicated resident, said, “The owners and officials responsible for this property may not care about or even tacitly approve the slow erosion of this important neighborhood anchor. So, if they are unwilling to act to secure the property, we’ll do it for them.”

Once the residents have secured the gates, the keys to the new locks will be turned over to Judge Carney in housing court who presided over this issue last year.

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