Fire struck the Mount Olive Lutheran Church on Shaw Boulevard just east of the Missouri Botanical Garden on July 30. I went by and photographed the building on August 4. The congregation was founded in 1926, the church was built in 1931 on the site of single family houses, and the newer wing was constructed in 1963.
This place has puzzled me for awhile. It looked abandoned when I went by the last time to photograph the Mullanphy Elementary School, and for whatever reason I didn’t feel the need to take a picture of it that day. There is a small sign on the balcony that says “St. George’s Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church” on it, so I wonder if the original congregation was renting it out to them? If that is true, it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, as the Eritrean congregation’s Facebook page shows a different church in the background of photos posted online.
Regardless, the windows are busted out throughout the entire building, and there’s evidence of smoke having escaped from the highest point of the bell tower, which even has the most telltale sign of neglect, a tree growing out of it, which I think is a first.
I was really kind of shocked to see the building so wide open (can anyone say attractive nuisance?) a week after the fire. Thankfully, it was finally boarded up a day or so after I took these photos.
And like the last time I walked by years ago, the grounds were in the same unkempt state. What is going on?