A Foreboding Demolition, Gravois Park

3633 South Compton Avenue, June 14, 2023

Update: I discovered another nearby LRA property at 3643 South Compton in similar rough condition.

I was shocked to discover a demolition occurring on the 3600 block of South Compton Avenue in the Gravois Park neighborhood. While the area is undergoing wild speculation from out-of-state buyers, it is also dealing with entrenched poverty and crime. But one thing Gravois Park had been avoiding was widescale demolition of the urban fabric. I did some investigating, and this building is owned by the Land Reutilization Authority, the City of St. Louis’s landbank, and had suffered some severe structural collapse in the back. It explains why the LRA had owned it since 2010 and no private buyer had snatched it up.

3633 South Compton Avenue, August 2021

Perhaps this is a unique case, but I hope this is not foreshadowing of the future; the out-of-state investors buying in the South Side I’ve spoken to are woefully unable to understand the St. Louis market, many never having actually seen their properties in person. I hope that more demolitions of neglected buildings by absentee landlords are not coming.

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