Two Stupid Demolitions

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Midtown and Downtown, etc 013

The Preservation Research Office brought to my attention that two unique and threatened buildings are now either demolished or targeted for demolition soon.  Above, a lone survivor on Olive Street of both Grand Center’s tony days as the center of wealth in St. Louis, and likewise the area’s decline into low-rent apartments, is slated to be demolished.  Taps, where the city disconnects the water main from the service line, are evidenced by the new asphalt patch out front.  I featured this building in the past, and I loved the little details, such as how the door on the far right clearly accessed the staircase (made of fragments of the original front arch) that went up to the apartments that the house was surely subdivided.  While I was there, a man emerged from the house with a shopping cart full of copper pipes.  I didn’t bother to call the police; someone might as well gain meager benefit from the crime of wasteful demolition.

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The second house, shown above as it looked earlier this week, was a proud survivor of much destruction on St. Louis Avenue over the years.  It matched a previously demolished, and stunning, storefront across the street.  I was worried this house was doomed.  To nip a common criticism in the bud: no, these two buildings were not for sale by their respective owners, Grand Center, Inc and Northside Regeneration, Paul McKee’s holding company.  So no, my building-hugging friends and I couldn’t have bought them and fixed them up ourselves.

What both buildings have in common is owners with no vision, no plan, and no resources to complete any kind of project that would actually help St. Louis.  The city does not need any more “blank canvas;” it needs residents, residents that need houses to buy and fix up.  Why do so few in power seem to understand this?

 

2 Responses

  1. Fozzie

    11/20/2013, 06:01 pm

    Why do so many do-gooders fail to understand that decent jobs and an average public school system attract residents? There is an over-abundance of houses for a city of 300,000 residents. St. Louis Avenue is not the first location most people with means will live. Period.

    Reply
    • Chris Naffziger

      11/20/2013, 09:39 pm

      I see you ignore the house in Grand Center. What is your explanation for its demise? You can’t possibly claim that is not a desirable neighborhood.

      Likewise, if you had bothered to do your research, you would know that the house on St. Louis Avenue faces a dozen occupied, well-maintained houses, a church with a large congregation, and at least a dozen new Habitat for Humanity houses. Hardly a wasteland.

      Reply

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