Mullanphy Emigrant Home in Serious Trouble

Update: I revisited the building in June of 2023; destroyed by fire on the night of September 14, 2023.

Hey everyone, is it maybe the time for us all to start having a conversation about how the Mullanphy Emigrant Home is probably going to collapse into a giant pile of rubble soon?

Honestly, it’s following the path of St. Mary’s Infirmary on the Near South Side, which collapsed slowly before being demolished.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Brooke M Petryka says:

    I am always surprised that there is not more talk about the Emigrant Home. I only know of one other city that has an Emigrant Home (Hull House in Chicago). Seems like it is a very important part of the city’s history. I believe there was a fundraiser at least once in the last 10 years and that is how they got the new walls built.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Yes, trade unions donated their labor to rebuild the south wall that was damaged by storms. The current owner does not seem to have a plan to save it.

  2. Patrick Kleaver says:

    I did an address and property search on the city’s website, and it shows that on July 15, 2021, a demolition permit was applied for and issued to W&W Real Estate LLC-C/O Wahied Gendi. Dr. Gendi purchased the Mullanphy Emigrant Home late in 2018 for $130,000 with plans to rehab it into either a health facility or housing. Being issued a demolition permit doesn’t always mean the owner follows through with it, but considering the building’s condition, I won’t be surprised to see it torn down. This exemplifies what I’ve noticed for quite sometime when it comes to many preservation projects. There’s always much hoopla and good press generated when people announce they’re coming to the rescue of some historic structure, but so often we hear nary a peep when a year or two later the project comes to naught.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I completely agree.

  3. Patrick Kleaver says:

    Here’s an update to my Nov. 23, 2021 comment regarding a demolition permit being applied for to tear down the Mullanphy Emigrant Home.

    The Dec. 30, 2021 St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Dr. Gendi said he had no intention to actually demolish the building (the permit was denied by the city) but only applied for a permit to stave off the city fining him for the building’s poor condition. He says when he bought it, he applied to banks for a $4 million loan to repair it but the banks wouldn’t give it to him (he owns other properties but they are all mortgaged and couldn’t be used as collateral), and he doesn’t have the cash to put into it. He says he’s willing to donate it to the city or a nonprofit.

    I haven’t been in the area since then, but I can only imagine the additional damage done by the record-setting rainfall we had in July 2022.

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Interesting, thank you for the update.

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