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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Storm Damage in Old North

We again have electricity, so I will share two images of storm damage in Old North St. Louis.

Here is the house at 1219 Clinton Street in the south end of the neighborhood. While it was already damaged and the roof had collapsed at the start of this year, its east wall was relatively intact until Wednesday.

Here is a close-up of the damage to the roof of the William H. Niedringhaus Home on Sullivan Avenue (our house).

There's a photo of the damaged Someone Cares Mission building on Benton Street in the What's New in Old North blog.


Anonymous said...

Since this was the last building standing on its block, at least in this case, Mother Nature helped create an entirely cleared block open for redevelopment.

Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY cos you know how the problem up here is a shortage of vacant land! I hate all these historic buildings cluttering everything up! Oh wait...what's all this green flat stuff? OH I REMEMBER--my block has as many empty lots as extant buildings, and we're considered the "dense" part of the neighborhood. So if that's how things are up here, who'd salivate over more empty land?

1219 Clinton is still there, albeit compromised. It'd take a saint to save it, but then again Old North is the main place for such miracles as of late. I'm not sure at all if it'll survive, but it's still there for now.

Anonymous said...

It depends if you develop like McBride in Botanical Heights or as Millenium plans to along DeTonty in Shaw. In other words, does your ideal developer of new homes require a completely clean slate to build on or just a sufficient chunk of a block?

Since this city block along Clinton is not that far from North Market Place, I still think it may not be a bad thing to have an entirely cleared block ready for new homes.

Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

No developer requires a whole block unless they are making a building that is a block long; some of them are just far less imaginative and versatile than others.

North Market Place itself is successful because it mixes the new into the old.

And it's not as if there are developers fistfighting on Clinton Street at this very moment for who gets to rebuild on these lots. I don’t think it’s a good policy in such a heavily, heavily de-densified area to knock stuff down before there are solid plans for its replacement (or to cheerlead when things fall down). I believe that more development is coming to Old North, but I don’t think that the developers will show up this very week. And as someone who lives in a neighborhood with a whole lotta one-, two-, and three-building blocks, I want a developer who will have the respect to save those three structures, not pitch ‘em just because. I hope that there will be enough variety in the design of future construction that our few brave remaining buildings will fit in among them. I do not want every house on the block to look the same.

Maybe (MAYBE!) if I knew that something really great would be built there I’d feel marginally better about it (though you could just build it at 1217, that’s open). However, right now that spot has as much of a chance as becoming a strip mall as it does becoming a thoughtfully-scaled, green, well-designed modern building. And if 1219 does go, its most likely use for a long time will simply be vacant lot, and the North Side needs another one of those like I need a hole in the head.

1219 has been there since the 1860s. There are fewer and fewer such buildings in StL every day. This particular building outlived everything else on its block, survived a large fire which claimed huge parts of the street, and also survived being labeled “obsolete” by the 1947 City Plan. And that building is beautiful. Personally, I think its continued decline is something to grieve, not something to celebrate.

mery said...

Has anyone checked on the Clemens Mansion since the storm?

Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

Our drive-by eyeballing of it through the front gates revealed no major new damage, but we've not given it a thorough inspection since then.

Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

Did North Market Place not build on contiguous vacant properties? I want as much rehab as others, but it doesn't hurt to also have some large sites ready for historic-inspired infill.