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Ecology of Absence now resides at www.preservationresearch.com. Please change your links and feeds.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

History Isn't Clean

Yes, the Riverfront Times mentioned our site in their recent article, Urban explorers, and linked to it from their web edition. (So far, we have tracked five hits from the article.)

No, we aren't "Dave" nor did we collaborate with Rose Martelli in the article. She contacted us, and we returned her messages, but she never returned ours. It's probably for the better, because we would not have been very cooperative subjects. For one thing, although we follow the goings-on of "urban explorers," we have no affinity for that term or the community that embraces it. We are historians who are trying to preserve things, not thrill-seekers who have chosen historic buildings as our backdrop. Ecology of Absence is not an "urban exploration" site. It's an "urban history" site.

Our methods are far more daring than those of other historians, but so be it. History isn't clean.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoever "Dave" is, he sure isn't very creative...

His tired list of explored sites including the "the Syndicate Trust, the Century Building, City Hospital, the Arena, and the Continental Building" makes it sound he gets all his ideas for exploring vacant hulks from the Post Dispatch.

And then this comment...

"He knows that, with so many reconstruction projects and loft-conversions happening around the city, it may become harder in the future to find buildings he can explore."

...certainly shows his ignorance about the number of un-rehabbed, vacant buildings left around St. Louis.

His theft of bricks from the Lemp Mansion certainly impresses (eyes rolling now...). Isn't the Lemp Mansion a building with a going restaurant and dinner theater?

I guess our vacant-ness is suddenly "cool"?

Well, if "Dave" wants to really be cool, he'd better get out to see that there's a lot more "vacant St. Louis" than the well-worn list of buildings he's talking about.

RB

Michael Allen said...

No kidding. If you want to "UE" an abandoned building in St. Louis, options are only growing. (Hello, eastside? Hello, northside?)

This is nothing to celebrate.

Regarding the Lemp Mansion, I nearly spat out my water on that story -- the Mansion was open for business when he claims to have made his daring "recovery."

Anonymous said...

lighten up boys. What is the big deal?

Dave

Anonymous said...

I have a 12 year old son. I'm teaching him that problems start when you disrespect other people's property.

Maybe you never learned that, "Dave"?

RB

Anonymous said...

Raise your son right RB. Going in to an old building and "stealing" 150 yr old wood bricks *not* from the mansion, but the wood block streets of the Lemp Complex that were in a trash heap is not going to make your son immoral. Taking tours of buildings that speculators have driven into the ground is hardly something that will drive the youth wayward. I don't sell or use drugs, I don't swindle people, I don't assault people. I never broke a window or busted a door, but would remove and put back on. But hey, if you want to condemn me, go right ahead. I will be that bad guy.

I got a chance to see a few beautiful structures that our society wanted to get rid of, and I would have never gotten a chance otherwise.

I just had a conversation with many other young wayward Saint Louisans who are from the southside and we were speaking again how difficult it was to find places on the southside. We spoke of the northside and east side. I have been to a few north, none east, but those are not in the immediate area. There are plenty still around, but it is harder to find a place. Ignorance?

At least we are celebrating a few of the structures many want to knock down or forget. It is great to see many of them come back to life too.

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave, if you want to see the insides of vacant buildings, that can be arranged.

The Lemp Brewery complex you refer to is being redeveloped. There are many going businesses there.

How does the RFT confuse the Lemp *Mansion* with the Lemp *Brewery*? Maybe they need a tour...

Going throught the guts of an abandoned building can be exciting.

Are you working with people to save some of them?

RB

Anonymous said...

Tours can be arranged? Sometimes, sure. But try to deal with some of the scumbag speculators like Finney, the former owner of the Century and Syndicate.

And it is hardly a surprise that the RFT might make a minor mistake between the Lemp Mansion and Lemp Complex. I have taken both legit and underground tours of that locale.

I have worked diligently to save several buildings, but I have been judged immoral, so perhaps I should not taint the cause. On the other hand, I know many many many many people who are very very involved who have gone on their own and with me on these tours. These are people we read about. These are very good people. Some have been caught unlike me. I guess they are just as awful as I am. At least I am in good company with such disrespect for property.

Dave