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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Blaze on Cook Avenue Last Night

From the website of television station KSDK comes the bad news that the two limestone-faced, turreted houses at the southeast corner of Cook and Spring avenues burned last night.

A glance this morning showed that the masonry walls are intact, while the roof timbers on each building were destroyed. The building on the west, 3658-60 Cook Avenue, has been owned by "Dion I. Cryer and Joe Witthaus LLC" since January 2006 while the building on the east, 3654-56 Cook, has been owned by the city's Land Reutilization Authority since 2000. Hopefully the owners of 3658-60 Cook have insurance, but it's unlikely.

Thanks to Shawnee Levrault for the tip.

1 comment:

Paul Hohmann said...

We looked at the building on the left several years ago as a potential rehab project. The buildings are actually two pairs of townhomes, for a total of 4 units. The two portions are connected only at the center, with the projecting fronts separated to appear like two large mansions. The buildings definitly stood out from their the remaining homes around them as grander structures. A few years ago, the west two units were in private ownership, empty, but in relatively decent shape from what we could tell looking in the windows. The two units on the east however were a different story. The farthest east was totally collapsed in the rear and at what had been the stair hall. The only structure left were the front rooms with the turret roof on top and the portion between what had been the stair hall and the rear. Everything else was literally brick walls open to the sky with a pile in the basement. The next unit was not much better, with the roof over the stair hall intact, but the stairs had already fallen to a pile on the first floor. There was a huge skylight in this 3-story space that actually still had glass, but obviously leaked very badly. The rear of this unit was also in the basement. From the basement, you could see that most of the remaining structure had a serious level of rot and was only a matter of time until it collapsed. Our development department was basically scared off by the condition of the interior, so they decided not to pursue the project even though it would have helped with selling our new houses being built all around the buildings. The west two units appeared to be undergoing a rehab as I would occasionally drive by to check the condition of the east half. Unfortunately the way the two halves were joined at the middle at the third floor would have provided an easy conduit for a fire to spread from either side. Hopefully the walls are still remaining and the interiors can be re-built... it would be a real shame to lose this one!