VIDEO - The sound of wood and brick being smashed reverberated down South Kirkwood Street.

Work to realize a vision of home ownership and relieving urban blight commenced May 21 with the demolition of two condemned homes in the city.

The sound of wood and brick being smashed reverberated down South Kirkwood Street  throughout the day as workers from Sunnyfield Contractors tore through the old structures.

The first, 45 S. Kirkwood, was built in 1925, while the house at 43 S. Kirkwood dated to 1920. Both two-story homes were bought in February by NCALL Research using funds from the Delaware State Housing Authority.

They are part of a project to tear down nine vacant, boarded-up properties. Restoring Central Dover is a community-based effort to spur home ownership and economic development in the state capital.

Five houses on North Kirkwood and two on South Queen Street also will be demolished, according to NCALL Executive Director Joe Myer.

In a May 11 press release, Myer said most of the abandoned properties were known nuisance areas, attracting crime and illegal activities.

“This is an unprecedented move to eliminate blight in our downtown and to create new and attractive for sale housing to truly meet our goals for Restoring Central Dover,” he said.

Tthe lots will be redeveloped and sold to qualifying homebuyers, with the South Kirkwood lot being developed by the Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity.

NCALL and Habitat have received a joint award of $1 million from the Delaware State Housing Authority to redevelop 20 properties in central Dover.