Update: The southern half of Hadley Township was in fact demolished in 2014. See my photographs here.
By now most people are familiar with the abject failure of Richmond Heights to take over one of the last historically African-American neighborhoods in Central St. Louis County. Hadley Township, while suffering from deferred maintenance (brought on by the fear of demolition by eminent domain), is a compact community in the heart of the metropolitan area. No wonder developers want to sink their talons into it.
Houses have been abandoned, out of anticipation of eventual forced removal.
Read some more commentary over at Urban Review St. Louis.
Basically, the government can take your house, threaten to take your house, destroy your property values, and annihilate historic communities–or not. Pray if you’re ever the target of eminent domain that either you win, or when you lose, the company that is buying your property doesn’t bail after your house has lost most of its value.
The larger issue is government still taking the 1950’s attitude towards development; if a community doesn’t fit its image of a healthy neighborhood, it must be destroyed.