Those Apartment Buildings, The Grove

Update: After all of the controversy, they’re going to be demolished anyway.

Those apartments. Sitting right at the t-bone intersection of South Kingshighway and Oakland Avenue, they’ve gone through quite the rigmarole over the last decade. Simply put, having viewed them up close, they are clearly not beyond saving, and while they’re not in the greatest location, sitting right at one of the most congested sections of car-centric stretches of street in St. Louis, they’re perfectly still in the highly desirable Grove neighborhood.

The first one even has received a weird remuddling of its front façade, showing that someone believed that it was worth saving before.

Front porches can be replaced, and are not structural members of the building itself.

Likewise, crumbling front façades are not fatal; the vast majority of residential structures in St. Louis rely on side walls for their structural strength, and the slight spalling of the front wall of this building above does spell disaster.

Likewise, deteriorating cosmetic details such as the false roofs of these four-families do not equate to the need to tear down the entire building.

This masonry collapse of the outer wythe of what is a substantial brick archway is again not a total loss for this building, but it is a perfect example of demolition by neglect, a way to make the “building huggers” look unreasonable and the owners, who are purposely not maintaining the buildings look “reasonable” for wanting to demolish perfectly salvageable structures.

Another perfectly fine building finishes the row.

As can be seen, the side wall is perfectly intact and not structurally unsound. I examined the others and the same can be said for all of them.

Of course, due to the loss of back gutters, the back walls have deteriorated, but again, they are not structurally imperative to the survival of the buildings.

Do we really want more matchsticks apartment buildings built in our city? We all know where this building below will be traveling to in dumptrucks in fifty years.

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