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Irish 'Frat House' Terrorized Quiet Logan Street; Rented 2-Flat Torn Apart

By  Linze Rice and Mina Bloom | August 25, 2017 5:48am 

 Irish men were renting a house for the summer, and on the last day, destroyed it. Literally.
Irish Frat House
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LOGAN SQUARE — For most of the year, a two-flat in Logan Square sat quietly on a residential corner, drawing no attention to itself.

But over the last few months this summer, it became "a straight-up frat house — 'Animal House,'" said neighbor Lee Zickwolf, 35.


By that Zickwolf doesn't mean "Animal House" in the fun, toga-wearing, singalong to "Shout" way — he means it in the yard-trashing, window-smashing, stay-up-partying-until-5 a.m. kind of way. 

And that's exactly what happened late Wednesday night and into the wee hours of Thursday morning at 2731 W. Prindiville St.

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What part of the yard looked like the afternoon after the wild party [All photos DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]

Neighbors who live on the block claim as many as 15 to 20 men, possibly a rugby team, have been living in the building and are partying until dawn inside and outside the home every week.

Things came to a head Wednesday night when, on what some of the men told DNAinfo was their last night in the house, the group embarked on a rampage, smashing nearly every window in the building, throwing furniture and wreaking havoc on the peaceful block — some of which was caught on camera.

The property's owner, developer Joseph Kiferbaum, knew the home was being sublet over the summer, but he initially was not aware it was to a group of young men from Ireland, here in the United States on student visas.

David Beltran, who lives just a few houses from the rambunctious group, said the partying carried on last summer, too, but not to the dramatic extreme that it did this year.

By late Thursday morning, police and representatives from 1st Ward Ald. Joe Moreno's office were at the scene, as well as a few men, still shirtless, wandering about and examining the damage. 

The men declined to divulge details, but video taken hours earlier by neighbors show the men unabashedly admit "I want to smash some more s---."

One points to the property and says, "That's our house," in a thick Irish accent.

Red plastic cups and an overturned table were left strewn about the yard.

One neighbor who filmed the scene can be heard pretending to be friendly and encouraging the men in order to get footage. When one of them notice he's filming, he picks up a brick and begins aggressively walking toward the neighbor before the camera turns off. 

Beltran said that neighbor was chased down an alley by the man with the brick.

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Another video, captured from a distance, shows a group of men huddled around the property, which sits next to a large yard. Glass breaking can be heard in the background. 

Police arrived about 1:30 a.m., according to Beltran, but they said Thursday no arrests had been made. Officers were back, along with city officials, around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, after receiving a call for service at the property "related to trespassing and criminal damage to property," police said.

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Beltran said after the house was sold to developers it became a "WWE"-style "eyesore."

Throughout the summer, the house was filled with men, and sometimes women, who would party, drink, grill and play outside until as late as 5 a.m., neighbors said. 

That, plus a lack of trash pickup, generated piles of garbage that created a breeding ground for rats, Beltran said. 

"It's just awful and intimidating seeing like 12 people there drinking, being obnoxiously loud, piles of trash. It's not a welcoming feeling," Beltran said.

"It's really scary when you see 12 people being violent in your neighborhood. Whether it's just fooling around or actual intent to destroy something, you get the same feeling, which is: 'Something's not right.'"

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Many of the home's windows have been smashed. 

Zickwolf's roommate, Jeff Twietmeyer, 31, described the property as having "trash and s--- everywhere," adding that the men recently threw a glass bottle at his neighbor's building around 4 a.m., waking up parents inside and their new baby.

Kiferbaum said he was "as bothered and disturbed by it as the neighbors are," but that as a landlord he had little legal recourse to rid the property of the group in the short time they occupied it. 

Instead, he said he's tried to be as responsive to neighbors as possible, tried working with the men to curb their behavior and had a "very stern" conversation with his regular tenant about the sublet. 

"I sincerely feel bad the neighbors have to deal with it and makes people feel like there's crime going on," Kiferbaum said. "Every time I was made aware of the issue, we addressed it immediately.

"The fact of the matter is they were subleasing for three months; there's no action I could take within that period of time legally that could gain any traction."

The good news for neighbors is that the group has to be out by the end of the month because the building is slated for demolition. 

Kiferbaum's firm, Kiferbaum Development, is razing the building and constructing six two- and three-bedroom contemporary town homes on the lots.

Kiferbaum offered his "sincerest apologies" and vowed "no more problem tenants" would plague the corner. 

"I want the best for the neighborhood," the developer said. "I don't want problem neighbors.

"I can assure them that the new project won't have any new issues. We're going to be putting six new families on the block, no more problem tenants."

A shirtless man could be seen hanging outside in the yard the afternoon after the party.

The exterior of the two-flat