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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Will a Gate District Landmark Soon be Reborn?

The Garavaglia Grocery complex at Lafayette and Nebraska in the Gate District is something of a faded landmark. It is shown below, courtesy of Google Streetview:

Why do I ask if it's soon to be rescued from its vacancy?

Well, on March 31, 2010, the Garavaglia buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination contains some excellent photography of the interior of the building, so I would recommend checking that out!

Why would the owner, listed by the city as Garavaglia Quality Foods, have sought historic status? Could it be to renovate the building and take advantage of the state historic rehabilitation tax credits? Possibly.

Could work begin soon on this Gate District landmark? Anyone have the scoop?


Brian said...

That's great news. Despite my general dislike of the Gate District, Lafayette Avenue still has a chance to be a pretty cool street with a few rehabs and some cool infill.

Erich said...

I LOVE this building!! Awesome news! Why don't you like the Gate Brian?

samizdat said...

From one of the notations to the historic app: 49 Garavaglia Interview, 16 October, 2007. “When Highway 44 was built it hurt us. It sliced the neighborhood in
half. It became a war zone in the late 70s and early 80s. Houses were selling for $1,200 or $1,300. People would
just walk away from their houses. It got bad. People were torching the buildings. The highway just killed the
area. It has started coming back but never got back to what it was before the highway.” Ah, progress.

Chris said...

The Gate District has some beautiful buildings, but much of it fell victim to wholesale clearance in the 1980's. Even more weirdly, they left an historic house here and there reminding you of where the street wall once was, making the new construction all the more jarring.

The area has potential, however.

STLgasm said...

Most of the infill construction in the Gate District is a big mistake! Compton Avenue is an utterly depressing sight between Chouteau and Lafayette.

I love the Garavaglia building. I hope the sign is preserved!

Doug Duckworth said...

Lafayette is still a great street. We should push for even better infill than what currently exists. That street could contrast with the damage done to the neighborhood. Hopefully in 20 years the gas station at Lafayette and Jefferson will be gone. Such a horrible way to enter both neighborhoods and definitely a barrier to development on both sides of the street. Hopefully something happens with Foodland as well -- like a grocery store (instead of the defunct Bohemian Hill). Though too many blacks live in the Gate District and who wants to shop with them.

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