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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bowood: Where are the redevelopment plans?

(UPDATE: Please note that Paul of Vanishing STL has updated the blog post referenced below after having received a comment from John McPheeters of Bowood Farms. Please see this updated post here.)

Kristen Hinman of the Riverfront Times has penned a nice article about the Bowood Farms controversy in the Central West End.

It ends thusly, with Bowood Farms' John McPheeters saying the following:

"I'm a strong supporter of saving worthy historic buildings," the nursery owner adds. "But you have to look at the local circumstances of each one."

What were the circumstances, though? The fact remains that McPheeters could have used some of the surrounding vacant land they already owned in order to fashion a storage lot. Or they could have used some of the land they had already cleared away. That's right: in case you missed it, Vanishing STL's Paul revealed that this was not Bowood's first demolished mansion of 2009. 4569 Washington has been felled as well.

Here is one of Vanishing STL's most telling images: Bowood's land ownership in the area.

As you can see, this may not be the last of Bowood's demolitions in the area.

I must also echo Vanishing STL on one final point. Please do not support Bowood Farms any longer. Take your business to Bayer's Garden Shop on Hampton instead (or another nursery of your choice).

The city should adopt, once more, citywide preservation review to avoid these incidents in the future, as Hinman covered in her article. In addition, redevelopment plans should be required. Where are Bowood's?

More on Alderman Kennedy's gentrification fears later.


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