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Showing posts with label Preservation Board. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Preservation Board. Show all posts

Monday, June 14, 2010

June Preservation Board Agenda Online

The temporary agenda is accessible here.

On the agenda are:
-A preliminary review of lighting at Aloe Plaza
-A preliminary review to extend an existing roof deck in Lafayette Square.
-A preliminary review to renovate 6120 Delmar (blogged here) in the East Loop, while demolishing a non-contributing addition.
-Review of proposal to install an illuminated ground sign with reader board at St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church.
-An appeal of staff denial of an application to replace third floor front window in the Central West End.
-An appeal of staff denial to retain 7 vinyl windows installed without a permit in Fox Park.
-An appeal of staff denial to retain exterior wrapping on front windows installed without a permit, also in Fox Park.
-An appeal of staff denial to retain a front door installed without a permit, in Benton Park.
-A new application to install solar panels on front roof slope, also in Benton Park.

Proposed demolitions are below:

-6044 Cates, in the West End neighborhood (photo from Geo St. Louis)

4308 Gano, in the Fairground Neighborhood. (Photo from Bing Maps).

4623 Kennerly, in the Greater Ville neighborhood. (Photo from Bing Maps).

The Preservation Board meeting is held at 1015 Locust, Suite 1200.

The date is June 28th at 4 p.m.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Preliminary May Preservation Board Agenda Includes Demolitions, New Bike Rack

On the latest temporary Preservation Board agenda, BJC Healthcare is seeking the demolition of two buildings for a new patient care center. The addresses are 4948 Parkview Place and 329 S. Kingshighway. These are the old Jewish Hospital buildings.

Vanishing St. Louis warned us of these proposed demolitions back in February of 2008. Here is a picture that author Paul Hohmann snapped then:

I am against a proposal that calls for the demolition of fine old buildings just to create new buildings that are blandly deferential to the monochromatic "campus" aesthetic. For Washington University's Medical Campus, this means a beige building with blue glass. No thanks, if that's the plan.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to install a five-foot tall Eiffel Tower sculpture doubling as a bike rack outside of new Lafayette Square cafe Rue Lafayette.

Also in Lafayette Square, there is a proposal to construct a home on the vacant lot at 1117 Dolman. My old block of Dolman appears to being doing well. Just south of here, the Preservation Board has granted approval to single-family home construction on another grassy lot. By a Google Streetview survey, yet another large empty lot on Dolman has a sign with some model homes on it further down the street. Maybe Dolman can soon mirror the success of the rest of the neighborhood with sensitive infill consuming its unfortunate gaps.

A new single-family home will join this row soon, if approved by the Preservation Board in May.

See the temporary agenda here.

As always, I encourage readers to attend Preservation Board meetings and testify for the items for which they are passionate:

The St. Louis Preservation Board will meet on May 24th, 2010 at 4:00 P.M. in the Cultural Resources Office of the Planning and Urban Design Agency, 1015 Locust Street, Suite 1200.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cultural Resources Office Recommends Denial of Demolition Permits on Chouteau

 UPDATE (4/27/10): The Preservation Board has denied the appeal for demolition of the buildings shown below! Great news!

The Cultural Resources Office (CRO) is encouraging the Preservation Board to deny the appeal of owner Crown 40, Inc., a convenience store operator, who wishes to tear down a row of four buildings on Chouteau.

The CRO staff report notes that Crown 40 seeks to demolish the four buildings to keep them as "grassy lots" in lieu of future development. Thankfully, the CRO does not feel that this "plan" constitutes a true development plan for the sake of the preservation review ordinance. They note, rightly, that none of the Chouteau buildings individually is significant, but, as a group, they make an important contribution to Chouteau's urban street wall.

Hopefully, the Preservation Board will heed to advice of the CRO and deny what would be a senseless plan to demolish four buildings just to create vacant lots. The Board meets Monday, April 26, at 4pm. The location is 1015 Locust, Suite 1200.

The CRO report also includes several buildings--and a new historic district in Tower Grove South called Oak Hill--that will be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another Gas Station on Chouteau?

Gas station, then-under construction, now complete, at Jefferson and Clark

Quick note: the reason for this month's proposed demolitions on Chouteau Avenue in the Gate District is a familiar, though saddening one: to make way for a gas station. Michael Allen of Ecology of Absence has made the connection I did not: that applicant Crown 40 is related to the convenience store chain of the same name. I should have known.

The loss of any urban buildings to a gas station is unacceptable. With a new gas station located mere blocks away on Jefferson just north of I-64/40 (its construction site is shown above), this proposal is ludicrous.

I must urge you to testify at the Preservation Board meeting if you are available. Do not stand by to watch an urban design disaster take place. Vote, with your testimony, for a city built for pedestrians, not automobiles exclusively.

Monday, April 26, 2010 at 4pm
1015 Locust
12th Floor Conference Room

If you cannot make it in person, please send your testimony to

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preliminary April Preservation Board Agenda Includes Demolition of a Row of Buildings on Chouteau; Several National Register Nominations

You may access the preliminary agenda here.

Four buildings on Chouteau in the Gate District are proposed for demolition: 2612; 2614-16, 2618-22, and 2626-30 Chouteau are all on the chopping block. The owner is listed as "Crown 40 Inc.". As with all preliminary agendas, there is no reason stated for these proposed demolitions. A Google Streetview capture is shown below.

While none of these buildings appear to be of extreme historic significance, they'd be sorely missed from an urban design standpoint if parking, for instance, is to replace them. I'll report any further information as it becomes available.

In other Preservation Board news, several buildings are to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including a new historic district surveyed by Lynn Josse--the Oak Hill District in Tower Grove South. A full list is below:

Address:   St. Louis News Company -1008-1010 Locust St.
Project Description:  Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
Preparer:   Lafser & Associates - Julie Ann LaMouria 
Owner:   Alverne Association

Address:   Chippewa Trust Co. Bldg. – 3801-05 S. Broadway
Project Description:  Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
Preparer:   Karen Bode Baxter, Ruth Kenney & Tim Maloney
Owner:   SCD Investments III LLC – Steve Roberts

Address:   Father Dunne’s News Boys Home & Protectorate
    aka Harbor Light Center – 3010 Washington Ave
Project Description:  Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
Preparer:   Karen Bode Baxter, Ruth Kenney & Tim Maloney
Owner:   The Salvation Army – Major Lonneal Richardson

Address:   Berry Motor Car Service Bldg. – 2220 Washington Ave.
Project Description:  Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
Preparer:   Landmarks Assoc. of St. Louis – Ruth Keenoy
Owner:   Sheralee Properties

Address:   Oak Hill Historic District 
(Roughly bounded by Gustine, Arsenal, alley west of
Portis Ave. and Humphrey St.)
Project Description:  Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places
Preparer:   Lynn Josse
Owner:   Various (see nomination)

Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Preservation Board Updates

Quickfire update! (Click here if you have no idea what this post is referring to...).

-6169R Pershing, owned by Washington University Quadrangle Housing, was denied its retroactive demolition permit and will be going to housing court.

-4269 Westminster (AKA 414-18 Boyle); Board upheld staff denial of demolition permit.

-6102 Michigan; Board upheld staff denial of demolition permit.

Great news! But will they be back on the agenda next month?

Information Source: Michael Allen

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Full March Preservation Board Agenda Online

You may access it here.

As reported earlier, the agenda contains three demolition-related items. All photographs used within this post are courtesy of the Cultural Resources Office.

6169R Pershing in Skinker-DeBaliviere is a rear structure that has already been demolished. Applicant Washington University Quadrangle Housing is applying for a retrograde demolition permit to approve work that is already completed. The structure was built in 1910. Cultural Resources staff recommend denial of the permit application and referral of the owner to Housing Court.

6169R Pershing prior to demolition.

4269 Westminster (414-418 Boyle) in the Central West End is a one-story, brick commercial building in a largely residential section of the neighborhood. Core Holdings, LLC is seeking the demolition permit for public safety reasons. However, the building has not been condemned by the Department of Public Safety and is considered sound under the historic district ordinance. The Cultural Resources Office staff recommends   upholding staff denial of the demolition permit.

A front profile of the commercial building facing Boyle.

A detail of the parapet.

6102 Michigan in Carondelet is a two-story residential building. Owner James B. Fritz is seeking a demolition permit to create a garden and planted area. The Cultural Resources Staff notes that this building is a High Merit and structurally sound contributor to the third extension of the Central Carondelet National Register Historic District. Cultural Resources speculates that, due to the pitch of the roof and the rear flounder-style construction, this is likely a mid-19th century building that was later altered to fit its decidedly Arts and Crafts surroundings. The blockface of 61xx Michigan is entirely intact. Cultural Resoures recommends upholding staff denial of the demolition permit, as the building is an important structure and rehabilitation is likely feasible.

Front detail of building proposed for demolition.

Rear detail. Note the historic flounder-style roof pitch.

As always, I encourage readers to show up to Preservation Board meetings and testify!

Without the voice of the public present, the case for demolition is stronger. You really could be the difference in saving some of St. Louis's unique architecture! If you absolutely can't show up in person, at least make sure to email the Board. Contact information and meeting information is below!

Contact: Adonna Buford

Monday, March 22, 2010
1015 Locust, Suite 1200

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Demolition Watch: Preliminary March Preservation Board Agenda is Available

It may be accessed here.

On the agenda are demolitions in Skinker-DeBaliviere (a brick garage); Central West End (commercial building); and Carondelet (a two-story brick house).

6169R Pershing in Skinker-DeBaliviere is a six-car, brick garage. You can see it (albeit at a nondescript angle) here on Bing Maps. The demolition work was begun without a permit.

414-18 North Boyle in the Central West End is a one-story, brick commercial building. Below is a screen cap from Google Streetview. The owner requesting demolition is listed as "Core Holdings, LLC".

6102 Michigan in Carondelet would be a tragic demolition. With its strangely pitched, almost flounder-like roof, this structure is likely very old. It's also very attractive, adding quite the visual punch to an already architecturally diverse block. Given that there is a residential building immediately to the south, I cannot see this as a parking lot. It's more than likely a pitch for new construction or simply an owner wanting to reduce maintenance costs. Below is the Google Streetview capture. Note that the home is located inside a second extension of the now very large Central Carondelet National Register Historic District. I previously reported that 6102 Michigan fell outside the boundaries, but this was incorrect. That means 6102 Michigan is eligible for the state historic rehabilitation tax credit.

As always, I will report further information as I receive it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breaking News: No Demolition Requests on This Month's Preliminary Preservation Board Agenda

The title says it all: according to the preliminary Preservation Board Agenda for February, there are no proposed demolitions this month. This is very rare indeed.

In fact, there's even a proposal to construct a single-family home on a corner lot in Soulard (at 1325 Lami, to be exact). That sounds good to me.

See the agenda for yourself here, but note that this is preliminary, and items could be pulled or added before the Monday, February 22, 2010 meeting.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Off the Grid, Ignorance Equals Bliss

I had an excellent time in St. Louis, racking up bar and restaurant tabs at some of my favorite places like the Cabin Inn, Mango, Foam, the Buttery, Local Harvest Cafe, Novak's, etc.

Despite the cold, I spent very little of my time inside the house, even spending some time walking around downtown, Grand Center, the Central West End, and Bevo (sadly, I didn't have my camera on me).

While back home, I saw St. Louis Hills and other neighborhoods lit up splendidly for the holidays, a sure sign of neighborhood pride. I saw a narrower Grand Boulevard with traffic moving more slowly. I got to introduce some suburban relatives to the wonderment of the pizza at Black Thorn Pub. Somehow, my mother had never been to the Art Museum, Old Courthouse, or the Fox, so I was able to get reacquainted with some of St. Louis's most treasured historic resources. On the snow-covered ground, St. Louis was looking and feeling good to me.

My Twitter account was abandoned, as was this blog. Visits to were few and far in between. I was basically off the radar during my visit, unable to observe and absorb all of the streaming news that comes to me from afar.

I'm glad, now. Finally situated in my new home, I read on the thankfully restored that the Roberts Tower project downtown has come to a halt, even though nearly complete. There was a murder on Morgan Ford in its popular Tower Grove South stretch, not to mention that horrible workplace massacre on the North Side (that news item I did catch while in town!). Demolition requests continue to be heard by the Preservation Board; this month's temporary agenda includes a request to tear down a property on stately Bartmer Avenue in the West End as well as a demolition proposal at 4125 Turner in the 21st Ward on an otherwise intact block. Why must crime and demolition, fear and emptiness plague my city?

I hope getting readjusted to my constant news stream will bring me some promising tidings for St. Louis soon in this new year. Anyone got some good news to share about our city?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Final December Preservation Board Agenda Now Online

You may access it here.

You might notice that two proposed demolitions in the Visitation Park Historic District have been removed. I am unsure as to why. See Vanishing St. Louis for more information on these buildings.

Sadly, the St. Louis Carnival Supply building at 3930 South Broadway, in Marine Villa, is still proposed for demolition. The intended use? Parking lot expansion for the adjacent strip mall.

I can't repeat enough how much St. Louis needs comprehensive, citywide urban design guidelines that ban the above types of requests outright. It's almost ludicrous to suggest that a couple extra parking spaces for a strip mall benefits the neighborhood--or the city--in even the most remote way. At the expense of a sound, urban building, it of course actually harms the city. More traffic, noise, pollution, curb cuts, lower property values, a loss of a potential investment opportunity, and a compromised pedestrian realm sums up what we "get" from such transactions. Read more about the history of the St. Louis Carnival Supply building(s) at Ecology of Absence.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Preservation Board (Temporary) Agenda Online

You may access it here.

There are three proposed demolitions on the agenda. One item contains two proposed demolitions at 5305-07 Cabanne and 5309 Cabanne, both in the Visitation Park neighborhood.

Another contains a request to demolish a "3 story commercial brick/wood warehouse" with a concurrent request to rehab an adjacent structure (3924 and 3930 S. Broadway, in Marine Villa).

View Larger Map
Based on the information provided, it appears the building on the left (the Second Empire) would be saved and rehabbed while the "warehouse" (an old theater?) would be demolished.

More information as it's available.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Preservation Board Agenda Now Contains Only One Demolition

As reported on both Vanishing St. Louis and Ecology of Absence, three Old North St. Louis demolitions pursued by the LRA have been removed from the Preservation Board agenda, with one of them having been taken down a few hours ago. The active Old North St. Louis Restoration Group only supports demolitions when the front facade of the structure in question has been heavily damaged and is no longer recognizable as a historic building. The buildings on the agenda previously failed miserably to meet this demolition test. The neighborhood is lucky that they're off the agenda--and that they have such a great and progressive neighborhood organization.

That leaves only a Hyde Park demolition proposal, at 3959 North 11th Street. Luckily, the Cultural Resources Offices has recommended that the Preservation Board uphold staff denial of demolition of this fire-damaged building. The owners stated that they live in Texas and cannot afford to maintain the building at all much less repair it from its fire damage. Rightly, the Cultural Resources Office stated that the owners provided no proof of economic hardship and, furthermore, that Alderman Bosley (D-3rd Ward) is opposed to any demolitions within this sensitive district. Let us hope that the Preservation Boards heeds the decision of the CRO. Click here for the agenda item; the building is pictured below courtesy of Cultural Resources staff:

UPDATE (11/24/09): An UrbanSTL forumer has stated that this demolition has once again been denied. Good news!

The proposed demolitions on Southwest Avenue have also been shelved for now. As I mentioned in a previous post, the owner has told me that 5209 Southwest (the building closest to Favazza's restaurant itself) may still be subject to demolition at a later date. Its roof and rear portions are severely damaged from a storm a few years back. Favazza consulted with SPACE Architects, who reportedly recommended demolition of 5209 Southwest. The other structure, at 5211-13 Southwest, will be saved, Favazza informed me, and will be used once more. For what, I am unsure, but was told the plans were now in the works. If I get any more information, I'll be sure to let everyone know.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yet More Historic Districts in St. Louis (and Other Good News)


In furtherance to my recent post, Doug Duckworth has reminded me of a historic neighborhood (or two) in St. Louis that I neglected to include on my map of new historic districts in St. Louis.

Specifically, 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French has Tweeted that he is exploring the possibility of listing of the O'Fallon and Penrose neighborhoods on the National Register. (On a side note, Holly Place adjacent to O'Fallon Park is already listed). As Duckworth points out, French is a part of a growing movement of North Side leaders recognizing the importance of preservation to harnessing a sense of place--and economic development.

Also, the Preservation Board has released the final version of this month's Preservation Board agenda. Most demolition threats seem neutralized (see below). Perhaps the best news of the agenda is the appearance of the Wellston Loop Commercial Historic District, which is bound to be approved and likely soon listed on the National Register. This district spans Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on the city's western edge, from Clara on the east to city limits on the west.

Also slated for nomination is a boundary increase (the third such increase, to be exact) to the Central Carondelet district. The good news is that this is a large addition that will essentially render nearly all of greater Carondelet officially historic (the section of the city south of Bates and east of I-55). The district expansion in question is bounded by Bates, I-55, the River, and Holly Hills, covering over 600 buildings.


Vanishing St. Louis has covered the fact that the Carr School has been removed from the earlier agenda, as has a property in the Columbia Brewery District that was owned by Paul McKee, Jr. of Northside Project fame. That's likely good news. The word that I've heard regarding the crumbling Carr School is that the Carr Square Tenants Association (the owner) is fairly close to rehabbing the building. As Michael Allen noted on his blog, the City's Board of Public Service floods the Preservation Board with "condemnation for demolition" requests after these parcels rack up enough complaints and citations. Usually, Allen says, the Preservation Board dismisses these requests by the City outright anyway.

The proposed Soulard demolition at 1927-29 S. 10th Street has been given a vote of no confidence by the Cultural Resources Office. So, too, is the Soulard Restoration Group opposed. That means that it's likely the demolition of this circa 1850s contributing resource to one of St. Louis's most stable and attractive historic districts will not get approved at tomorrow night's meeting of the Preservation Board. More information can be found here.

The only other remaining "condemnation for demolition" requests by the City remaining on the agenda is 3959 N. 11th Street (link to agenda item), in Hyde Park. Third Ward Alderman Freeman Bosley is opposed to the demolition, lending hope to this situation as well.

All in all, it looks like preservationists can breathe easier--and even more neighborhoods can partake in historic tax credit benefits.

The Preservation Board meeting is Monday, October 26, 2009, at 1015 Locust, 12th Floor, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Preservation Board Agenda: More Demolition Derby

In lieu of further comments, here is the link to this month's Preservation Board agenda.

It includes proposals of:

-demolition of the National Register of Historic Places-listed Carr School (City of St. Louis - Department of Public Safety)

-demolition of a beautiful historic contributing resource to the Soulard neighborhood (deferred from last month--1925-27 S. 10th)

-demolition of two Paul McKee Jr. holding company-owned homes in the North Side project area (one is located within the Columbia Brewery National Register District)

-demolition of a fire-damaged home in Hyde Park on N. 11th Street.

Stay tuned for any more information I can find.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Final September Preservation Board Agenda Now Online

Access it here.

Strangely, none of the demolitions referenced in my previous post that were listed on the Temporary Agenda are listed on the final.

Those included demolitions in Kosciusko, Old North St. Louis, Shaw, and Soulard.

I called the Cultural Resources Office to confirm this was not a mistake and was told that, indeed, the items had been pulled from the agenda. It appears that 10th Street in Soulard is to be deferred until October, which means it is still threatened. Montgomery Street in Old North was approved, likely via emergency demolition permit. And the person with whom I spoke was unsure of the status of the other two proposed demolitions.

I will post any further information as it becomes available.

(EDIT: I just received word from Michael Allen that the Cultural Resources Office approved the demolition of 1103 Montgomery in Old North St. Louis due to extreme structural failure. The building was on the verge of collapse.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cultural Resources Office continues to hand the historic buildings of the Central West End over to institutions with bad plans

On Monday, the Preservation Board will review demolition of several buildings in the Central West End: the Ettrick Building, Schoenberg Residence Hall, and another on Euclid.

Read the Cultural Resources Office recommendation here. They recommend approval of the demolition of most of this block for a mid-rise medical building. The design, you'll notice, is remarkably similar to the Siteman Cancer Research Center across the street and appears bound to create an urban design monoculture that is stuffy and uninviting. I would also list the Majestic's building's days as numbered as well. It will soon be bordered by a huge parking garage to the west, a huge medical building to the south, and a huge residential tower to the north (if the Preservation Board approves the demolition on Monday, that is).

But the most ludicrous feature of the plan is the proposal to demolish the Schoenberg Residence for a park. Yes, a park to be located on Forest Park Avenue, which of course is named for the 1,200 acre park a half block away.

I will let you review the plan and let me know what your take on it is. Do you appreciate the institutional expansion?

I tend to think that the Cultural Resources Office/Preservation Board has no sense of what made the Central West End so vibrant. It was not merely the presence of great institutions (the BJC complex, the Archdiocese) but also the building stock of the area that helped to reinvigorate the CWE in the 1970s. Yet the CRO and Preservation Board have been complicit in demolition after demolition by BJC and, recently, the Archdiocese with the San Luis Apartments.

At some point, a balance is needed. Washington University's intended future demolition of the Ittner-designed Central Institute for the Deaf should be the last straw. And any new construction should do more than simply make a gesture. It should be exemplary, something new and exciting. This proposed new construction at Forest Park and Euclid will look very tired by 2029.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, June 22, 2009

San Luis Demolition Approved

According to a Tweet by Steve Patterson around 9:45 p.m. tonight, the Preservation Board has approved demolition of the San Luis Apartments for a surface lot.

I am more than interested to hear how this lot adheres to ordinance standards.

Is a lawsuit possible?

Updates to come...

Monday, June 8, 2009

June Preservation Board, Proposed Demolition: 2100-02 Destrehan

Photograph obtained from the City of St. Louis

2100-02 Destrehan is yet another Hyde Park structure to be threatened over the past couple months. This is another LRA-owned building, who is also proposing its demolition. Recently, the city demolished a group of handsome commercial buildings for a surface parking lot (for the Treasurer's Office).

Is the city wanting the sensitive Hyde Park historic district to further empty? You can count out an Old North-inspired revitalization of Hyde Park if the southern part of Hyde Park (adjacent to Old North) is fallow land.

June Preservation Board, Proposed Demolition: 4646-48 St. Ferdinand

Photograph obtained from the City of St. Louis

4646-48 St. Ferdinand is located in the Greater Ville neighborhood. The proposed demolition is requested by the city's Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), not coincidentally one of the largest landowners in the city. While I'm sure this property has not been fun to live adjacent to, one has to wonder: could the city not better secure its own property? Why are the second floor windows open to the elements? Could this have contributed to a quicker demolition-by-neglect?

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