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Checking Up on North St. Louis

I decided to get out and photograph some new places on the North Side, and check up on some old favorites. While I was inspired by some grand new buildings and some great little secrets, overall I was greatly disheartened at the general decline that has continued in the area.

Copyright St. Louis Patina -035

First off, above, is a beautiful apartment building now under demolition in the West End. I can’t believe that such a great building could get to this point.

Also, the commercial building on Page at Union continues to sit in limbo, rotting as the church next door capriciously hopes for its collapse, I assume.

Update: The building above has been demolished.

The general condition of housing on Page Blvd, a short drive to downtown, continues to suffer the fate of thousands of buildings before them; such inspired architecture is not easily replaced by the short sighted aldermen of the city.

Much to my chagrin, the deterioration of my favorite church on the North Side, St. Augustine in western St. Louis Place, has apparently suffered a serious loss of copper sheathing along the parapet of the nave. Not good; I know a congregation is holding on in the massive edifice, but I am wondering if the weight of preservation costs is starting to overwhelm their resources. This seems to have just happened, as I photographed the church relatively recently and it was fine; one piece of copper now rests on top of the front entry doorway.

Update: As of May 2016, St. Augustine sits abandoned and vandalized.

Likewise, the current owners of Bethlehem Lutheran seem hell-bent on running their majestic church into the ground; the only thing that’s changed in this picture is the lushness of the weeds and trees growing around them.

Update: The church was demolished in the summer of 2014.

The house above appears to have changed little since I first documented it after the arson spree of last summer in St. Louis Place and JeffVanderLou, as can be seen here from my post last year.

And finally, brick rustling seems alive and well in one small corner of the city west of Jefferson; I have not seen such a completely harvested house such as this one in a long time.

The verdict from my Saturday examination is not good; it seems the continued failed policies and short sighted, selfish motives of individuals continue to set back the northern half of the city. Will new leadership in the Board of Aldermen change the tide of neglect?

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