The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has closed on its purchase of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home. Now, the hard work begins.
Here is a letter from the Restoration Group's Executive Director, Sean Thomas:
Dear Friend of Old North St. Louis:
Today the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has taken a huge leap of faith. As of this morning, we are the proud – and very nervous – owners of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home building at 1609 N. 14th Street, just a few blocks north of Downtown St. Louis. Although we're a community-based not-for-profit organization with an extremely tight budget, our Board decided to take this action because nobody else seemed willing or able to save the buiding from demolition or collapse. But we did so with the support and encouragement of many who recognize the building's historic and architectural significance. Now we're at a point where we need more than words of encouragement – we need your financial support to preserve the building.
On April 2 of this year, severe wind gusts hit the Italianate brick structure that was built in 1867 to house the Mullanphy Emigrant Home. These winds knocked out much of the south wall and led to an order from the City of St. Louis Building Division to demolish the building. Because of determined efforts by Old North St. Louis
Restoration Group, aided by many friends inside and outside of city government and a structural engineer's report indicating that the building was not in imminent danger of collapse, the City rescinded the demolition order. Thankfully, the building has survived over the past seven months without additional damage. If the building is going to survive through the winter, though, we will need to take immediate measures to shore up the south end of the building and re-build the wall. Because the total bill for acquisition, insurance, and stabilization work will equal at least $150,000, more than half of the amount we have to raise every year for our basic organizational operations, we need financial support well beyond our usual sources of revenue. To help us reach this goal, we're asking all who care about Old North St. Louis to make a contribution of whatever amount they can afford.
The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group is dedicated to re-building the neighborhood in a way that incorporates the community's rich history and respects the beauty and architectural significance of the built environment – and the skill and craftsmanship of past generations that created it. We invite you to help us with a contribution to the preservation of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home. Please send a tax-deductible contribution to us as soon as you can, using the enclosed form. And if you know of anyone else who cares about preserving our city's unique architectural heritage, please encourage them to contribute as well.
(By the way, Preservation covered the effort to restore the Mullanphy in a recent article.)