Motorists and pedestrians in Fells Point were startled yesterday - though none was hurt - when a wall, part of an old school being demolished, collapsed and fell, raining bricks onto the street.
A car passing on Aliceanna Street was hit by bricks, residents said, although the man at the wheel left soon afterward, unscathed. A fence along the sidewalk, designed to keep pedestrians away from the site, was flattened by the debris.
A city emergency response team arrived within minutes of the collapse and blocked off the street. The wrecking crew tasked with pulling down the school, once run by the St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church around the corner, hurried to clean up the bricks and rubble, which raised a cloud of dust that covered several parked cars. A man took a hose to the vehicles.
The Franciscan order that owns the row of buildings is clearing most of the site - only an 18th- century mansion is to remain - in hopes that a developer will build condominiums there. A spokesman for the friars did not respond yesterday to a message seeking comment.
But local preservationists had hoped to save the buildings, and the incident drew angry reactions: "Our urban landscape has been ruined with the prospect of some cheaply built developer's dream," said Daniel A. Kuc, an interior designer who lives nearby.
Another resident, Mark Walker, who described himself as a Fells Point activist, called the wrecking crew's act "an orgy of destruction."