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…

Kennerly Avenue, Revisited

I find myself drawn back to these old wood frame shotgun houses in the Ville, dating back probably to as early as the 1870s, when this was a rural village named Elleardsville. The African-American middle class was shoved into these crowded houses, but they still thrived. Now they’re going up in flames, for whatever reason,…

Jefferson and Potomac, Revisited

These Second Empire beauties continue to sit vacant, owned by slumlords “who are doing their best to fix them up–lay off.” Right. Now, the one on the end was struck by arson, and only saved by the bravery of firefighters. But they have so much potential! They sit among dense neighborhoods, and have value.

Fire, McGowan Warehouse

I was just remarking in June what a “nice warehouse” this was, so I was flabbergasted to hear that it has just been gutted by fire. Such a waste. It was actually a couple buildings. The warehouse was a frequent target of media stories about graffiti lining major interstates in St. Louis.

Worker’s Cottage

Update: Almost destroyed by sloppy rehabbers while adding an addition to the north of the house in the summer of 2019. The north wall collapsed and the front, west wall had to be partially deconstructed. The house behind this little house went up in flames only a couple of days after this photograph was taken….

Clemens Mansion, Two Weeks in Winter 2016

Update: Completely destroyed by suspected arson in the early morning hours of July 12, 2017. The site is now a vacant lot. See photos of the mansion in the 1960s here. At this rate, the Clemens Mansion is going to be a pile of rubble in a few years. Offers to help or even buy…

The Ville, Revisited, Late November 2015

We drove through the Ville neighborhood last week, and I was disappointed to see that the neglect and deterioration has continued. Once the isolated “suburban” town of Elleardsville, the Ville became the center of the middle class in the African-American community. Unfortunately, due to segregation, the housing stock is old, much of it just after…

St. Louis Place, Slipping Away Some More

Update: Everything seen above was cleared or demolished for the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2017. The City of St. Louis cut ties with Paul McKee’s Northside in June of 2018.

Swallowed by Leaves

The wet, rainy weather has caused at least one thing to flourish in the ruins of the JeffVanderLou neighborhood: volunteer trees. It’s amazing how they’re just swallowing up houses around here. The arsons around here, never solved, continue to cast a pall on the area.