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.
Everyone's A Critic
10 hours ago