Updates on the Inner North Side

Update: The remaining houses on the north side of the street have been demolished. Two buildings on St. Louis Avenue in JeffVanderLou apparently had become something of celebrities due to some graffiti someone had painted on them years ago. I came by while they were in the process of being demolished; the one on the…

Fires and the Northside TIF, Old North St. Louis

The Northside TIF and Paul McKee’s damage to North St. Louis is not some abstract academic discussion about what role government should play in financing and aiding private developers. It impacts real people, when houses that are left to rot for over a decade are set on fire by an arsonist, and the flames and…

Burn Out in JeffVanderLou

Update: The minivan was replaced by an abandoned trailer filled with old tires in November of 2018. A year ago, these houses on Laflin Avenue in JeffVanderLou were in acceptable shape, even though they had been abandoned for a long time. I was shocked to drive by in the last week of August to discover…

Clemens Mansion, Mid-January Before Demolition

Update: See photos of the Clemens Mansion in the 1960s. The site is now vacant. Back, just when the demolition of the Clemens Mansion was just starting, I took these pictures. I am very sad to see it go, particularly because the owner, Paul McKee never put any real effort into saving it, and more…

Visiting East St. Louis on the 100th Anniversary of the Riots

10th and Bond Street is where it all began, 100 years and two weeks ago. I went back and snapped these photos on the exact anniversary of some of the worse racial violence in US history. The oldest areas of East St. Louis are still mostly abandoned, with wide swaths of vacant lots. I am…

Clemens Mansion: Part 3, The Effects on Neighbors

Update: Demolition of the Clemens Mansion was completed by the spring of 2018. For the old “it’s just a building” crowd, I offer the following exhibits. First is the “Sherman House,” which was gutted by fire, started by burning embers from the Clemens Mansion on Helen Street. The fire could have easily spread to occupied…

Clemens Mansion: Part 2, Further Examination

Update: Demolition was completed by the spring of 2018. See photos of the mansion in the 1960s here. The site is still a vacant lot. Under no circumstance should you get close the Clemens Mansion; the walls are far too unstable. I captured these images with a zoom lens. But you don’t need to worry…

Clemens Mansion: Part 1, What Else Is There to Say?

Update: Demolition was completed by the spring of 2018. The site is still a vacant lot. See photos of the mansion in the 1960s here. As I walked west on Cass Avenue, towards the smoldering ruins of the Clemens Mansion, the sound of water trickling as it ran out of pipes and gutters reached my…