We've Moved

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Preservationist in Room 200?

Today the mayor of St. Louis is offering a Preservation Update that almost convinces the reader that the mayor is a diehard believer in historic preservation.

The catch? This mayor is Francis Slay, and his own blog catches his contradictions. In the past, the Mayor has offered support to: boxes of rocks replacing 19th century houses in Hyde Park, vinyl boxes replacing 19th century houses in Hyde Park, a land use plan that basically condemns all historic buildings east of Broadway (or east of I-70 on the northside) to demolition and a new bridge that will entail demolition of historic warehouses purchased by a speculator looking for a profitable buyout. These are only the items he has mentioned in his blog; other matters from the Century Building's demolition to silence on the matter of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church suggest that the mayor has a long way to go in learning what historic preservation really looks like.

His support of the local district ordinances is good, though, as is his support for bringing the Lafayette Walk project into compliance with local district codes. But let's don't forget that there is another side to Slay's record.

Visiting the JAC in Alton

Last Friday night, we checked out the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton for the first time. They had an opening for their new exhibit.

The Jacoby is in Downtown Alton, on Broadway, near the river. It's in the old Jacoby furniture store. The building was donated to the group in 2004, and the storefront space is already looking great. They've still got the big, red neon sign out front, even though it's not lit. On the inside, the tin ceiling is in nice shape and the pine floors glow. They chose to retain the molded, stylized early modern columns that run almost awkwardly down the middle of the space, which we really like. The columns are a byproduct of a 1953 "modernization" of the store, and though their style is quite different from that of the tin ceiling and they are pretty in a less obvious way than the building's older features, they nonetheless give the space an interesting character. When we saw them, they were all painted white, but a representative of the gallery informed us that for a previous exhibition, they'd painted the columns different colors, and she said that it lent a completely different atmosphere to the space. How about that! A rehab that not only respects the historic accumulation of changes in the building, but plays with it! I am going to be interested to see what they do when they renovate the top two floors of their building.

And oh yeah, we enjoyed the art once we were finished inspecting every inch of the rehab (Working on your house for such a long time will make you do that whereever you go.). Our favorite was the art of Michael Mason, who has works up from his Homage to Louis Sullivan series. Mason, who has spent years working with salvaged pieces of Sullivan ornament as the Curator of the University Museum at SIUE, creates elaborate patterns by scanning plant material and arranging it into geometric forms on his computer. He then prints the works onto canvas. It is fascinating to see the organically inspired geometry and colors of Sullivan realized entirely in actual plant forms. (You can see a small image of his work at the website of Xen Gallery, which also has some of his work up right now, but it's best seen in person.)

After we finished checking out the space and the show, we strolled around Downtown Alton. Even though not much was open at that hour (Well, we did enjoy our dinner at Subway.), it was still very pleasant. Though Downtown Alton is not entirely bustling, it is nonetheless quite intact and fairly healthy, especially compared to other Downtowns in the region of similar size and age. The scale and age of the buildings in the area, as well its dramatic hills, made for a pretty interesting walk. Before long, we found ourselves strolling along the peaceful river, gazing in awe at the beautiful new Clark Bridge (How is the new Mississippi River Bridge supposed to top that?).

All in all, we had a nice evening in Alton. We fully recommend checking out the Jacoby, and enjoying the neighborhood while you're there.

Re-Centering Downtown or Doubling Sprawl?

A new house rises amid hay bales on Red Brick Lane outside of Columbia, Illinois (July 24, 2005). I grew up across the road from this field. Is this development somehow any different or more desirable than what has been built in St. Charles County?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Like a terribly, terribly overgrown Cubs game, but with very old, French roots

The Mardi Gras parade is tomorrow.

For those brave souls who venture out to watch and/or participate, you oughta know that the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group will be selling beer at a booth at the corner of 7th and Victor in order to raise funds for our wonderful, historic neighborhood. We will be there from 8AM until 4PM. Stop by and buy a beer, or a soda, or water, or a hurricane, and drop some money in the tip jar to support the neighborhood even more. At least you will be able to tell your friends you did one honorable thing at Mardi Gras!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Coming Down This Week

Urban Review St. Louis reports that the Doering Mansion is almost gone. Demolition began last week.

Also nearly gone this week is the art deco Regal Theater on Martin Luther King Boulevard. I have been following the saga there and hope to post more information and photographs on our website soon. In the meantime, the other endangered art deco movie house in town, the Avalon Theater, still stands and could be restored.

And still: On our way back from the Wellston Loop last night, we passed at least three in-progress demolition sites on Martin Luther King Boulevard. The north side is still bleeding!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Driver's ed in the city?

I am finally going to break down and learn how to drive, at age 22. I actually do pretty dang well in St. Louis on public transit, on my bike, and on foot, but I think my ability to do errands, our rehab, and my employment prospects might get a little better if I could drive. I get most of the things I need to do done without a car, but it can be frustrating to have to block out three hours just to go across town and get a haircut, and it is very frustrating to have to peruse different bus schedules for every help wanted ad I look at. Not to mention, having the ability to drive is good in case of emergencies, and boy do I owe a lot of people rides.

The big decision for me is: Do I fix up the Karmann Ghia that I've been shamefully neglecting for the past several months, or do I sell it and replace it with a scooter? That will take some thinking.

For now, though, the big question is: Can anyone recommend a good place in (or very near) the city to take driver's ed? And is there anywhere I should avoid?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Dying Mall Gets to Live

The press is reporting that the Mayor's office has successfully gotten St. Louis Centre into the hands of one of its favored developers, the Pyramid Companies. Pyramid aims to introduce condominiums into the twenty-one-year-old grimy mall. Pyramid's track record downtown has been good, including some thoughtful rehabilitation of historic buildings like the Paul Brown. Their architecture staff is dynamic and young, and should handle the challenge well.

Odd that the fortune of a place can change so quickly; in two decades, the downtown shopping mall rose and fell like a bird, to borrow from the Handsome Family. Its birth in fad is met in rebirth through another, hopefully more vital fad: condominium conversion of commercial space.

St. Louis Centre has changed quite a bit since its grand opening in 1985, which was replete with a ceremonial balloon launch and the styling of the late comedian Bob Hope. The downtown mall was the brainchild of city planners with block grant money and big dreams -- big dreams that were articulated in the muddled form of the place and in its name. To boast that the "centre" of St. Louis was downtown in 1985 was very optimistic. To claim that a shopping mall there was that center was quixotic, eroding the importance of the name. To use "centre" was so silly as to suggest the mall's planners did not take it very seriously.

The design, by famed 1980s "urban mall" experts RTKL Associates, grafted a postmodern pastiche of London's Crystal Palace with onto an awkward box with green-and-white (officially "light gray") aluminum walls. The box supported a 25-story shiny granite office tower that does not share any public connection with the mall, in one of the most puzzling aspects of the mall. Another confusing design feature is the fact that the mall's first level is actually the second floor, so mall-goers have to take escalators through two unconnected lobbies at different ends of the building in order to reach the first full floor of shops. The building overhangs the sidewalk with a garish barrel vault arcade, another effort at pastiche that only makes the mall less humane. Then there are the sky bridges that connect the second through fourth levels to the department stores, Famous -Barr on the south end and the shuttered Dillard's on the north. The sky bridges are overly wide, overly tall (why not a connection at one level?) and only have glass on one side with the dreaded aluminum wall on the other. Furthermore, these bridges have the glass on different sides. They block the views one would have down Washington Avenue and Locust Street, obscures the facades of the department store buildings and create dark spots on the streets below.

The one redeeming feature of St. Louis Centre is the sun-filled main arcade. It follows a traditional long-form plan, much like Milwaukee's Plankington Arcade. The three levels of shops are punctured by an open atrium. Everything is white, from the railings along the atrium to most of the tiles on the floor. (At least, they used to be white.) The whole effect is bright and comfortable -- not a great space, but not as badly disarming as the rest of the mall.

All of the design flaws create a building that is wholly resistant to natural circulation. Beside the fact that downtown is not a place where a shopping mall will help create life, the mall's architecture is too confused to be inviting and too confusing to be useful. Consequently, the mall has been in decline since its opening. Nowadays, the mall has hit the bottom of its life. More store spaces are closed than open. Nearly every original "name" store is gone, leaving behind a handful of super-discount shops and junk food vendors. Dillard's has closed, and the new owners of Dillard's are eager to demolish the sky bridge to their building. The new owners of Famous-Barr, Federated Department Stores, will be changing that store to the posh Macy's name; they weren't likely to keep the sky bridge for long.

In the meantime, the mall has had an owner who never seemed certain what to do with it. Barry Cohen purchased the giant block grant project for a mere $4.5 million in foreclosure, and has proceeded to preside over accelerated obsolescence. Maintenance has become a lost idea at the mall. St. Louis Centre lingers, losing shops and shoppers but picking up the occasional improbable new tenant (an art gallery and a well-known gym moved into the mall in 2005). The slow decay and deferred maintenance combined with the anemic flow of people inside provide the perfect space to meditate on the future of the city. To anyone who was here when the mall was a bit busier, traces of history emerge. A memory of a shop, a cup of espresso consumed (there was an espresso shop when I was younger), a photo-booth adventure (the photo-booth, with its radiant Technicolor, remained until fall 2005) -- it's all still here, just as the memories of lost buildings and stores infuse our neighborhoods with a secret counter-narrative that either infuses new uses with life or curses them to death.

One can offer an easy guess as to which way these ghosts are carrying St. Louis Centre, but the mall itself may disagree. Windowpanes on fake Victorian greenhouse may be boarded and the floors may be unwashed, but what about those thirty-somethings jogging in place in their clinging, sweaty workout gear in plain view of passers-by on Locust? Death may be at hand, but in a fashion consistent with the mall's own style, it arrives slow and confused. What could have been a death of the building -- a fate that many found hard to oppose -- is just a death of use, form and style. What remains after those three elements are removed is any one's guess, but it will not be St. Louis Centre.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cutest public transit ever!

You've probably heard of Detroit's People Mover train.

Here's something you probably haven't seen before: Puppy Mover Monorail !

Thanks to Irene Tien for the tip.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

National recognition for Ciné16 in St. Louis

The Ciné16 film series, founded by our now-relocated friends Margie Newman and Marc Syp and currently curated by Evalyn Williams, Claire Nowak-Boyd and myself was the subject of a story on NPR's Morning Edition today. Thanks to Matt Sepic for producing the story and getting it to the national level.

This is great recognition of the unique cultural activity already happening in St. Louis. People who think that St. Louis is squandering its cultural potential really needs to leave their apartments more often.

Redeveloping the Pruitt-Igoe site

The Mayor's office is talking with a pharmaceutical company about building a plant on the site of the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects.

First question: How many full-time jobs with benefits would the plant create? The article states that the plant might create up to 850 jobs, but we all know how big companies use part-time waged labor positions to keep profits high and workers from having a decent life. If these would be 850 honest-to-goodness real jobs, that would be great for the north side.

Second question: Can we please build the plant in a way that allows the street grid to be re-established and allows for other uses along Jefferson and Cass? I would prefer mixed use of the site, but I don't necessarily think that it has to include residential components -- there is ample space for that all over the near north side. Using the Pruitt-Igoe site for retail, office tenants and manufacturing would be a great for the near north side. But the site should not remain an inaccessible superblock -- that's kind of the historical problem with the site. It should be dense, urban and connected no matter what use is found. A factory may need a larger space, but it could still be build up rather than out and leave space for other new construction on the site.

St. Charles' Frenchtown targeted for redevelopment

The St. Charles City Council is considering a bill by Councilman and Council President Rory Riddler (D-1st) to create a redevelopment plan for the northern end of the city's old Frenchtown section. Frenchtown lies north of downtown St. Charles along the Missouri River and was platted in the early 19th century. Its narrow streets form a grid dotted with brick and frame buildings, some dating back to the 1840s and many in side-gabled Federal or Green Revival styles that are prevalent in old parts of St. Louis neighborhoods like Carondelet, Soulard and Old North St. Louis. In the last twenty years, especially after its rail lines and connected businesses went dead, Frenchtown's economic life has faltered. Empty storefronts and ill-repaired homes stand out. But largely the area is in good shape, and lacks what St. Louisans would call blight.

However, Riddler and developer Griffey Construction of New Melle, Missouri are pushing for a large-scale redevelopment project that would be under the control of Griffey. This project would be empowered to use eminent domain, and early talk indicates that would be used primarily to secure commercial-zones buildings and land along Second Street, a main thoroughfare in Frenchtown. They are talking New Urbanist talk that sounds funny coming from a New Melle-based firm whose specialty is low-density subdivision construction. The things Riddler and company say about Frenchtown make it seem like the area is blighted and will turn into a ghetto if they don't act.

In reality, the area -- and St. Charles city on the whole -- needs to regain its job base. This is difficult since so many manufacturing and professional jobs have fled St. Charles for other locations in St. Charles County. Even the city of St. Charles located its new convention center and hotel not in the old core near the river, but to the southwest on the old county Fairgrounds site which had to be annexed first. The sorts of antique shops that city leaders in St. Charles have pushed on downtown's Main Street and Frenchtown's Second Street don't create many jobs, even if they lure tourists and bring in sales tax revenue. If Riddler and Griffey want to extend the antique store district, they are tying Frenchtown's future to something that will not help current or future Frenchtown residents.

While increasing density along Second Street would be desirable, I am not sure what new construction the redevelopment entails and whether or not Griffey knows how to build thoughtful urban buildings. The architectural stock of Frenchtown is very important and any new construction must be sensitive in scale, materials, style and such.

But a redevelopment plan may simply remake a proud city district into a subdivision. Without good jobs in the city, redevelopment and rising property values could push out longtime residents and the mundane but useful businesses that line north Second Street. Bistros and boutique shops don't build neighborhoods -- they are luxuries that can add a good element to an already-strong place. Frenchtown faces many of the same problems that St. Charles faces, and the redevelopment scheme is a misguided attempt to force a renewal on the district. One thing that Riddler could do to help is to oppose the subsidized development happening elsewhere in the county, stand up for the rights of small businesses that stay in the city like those threatened in Frenchtown and fight for a MetroLink connection of the city of St. Charles (which has enough density to support a line) to the airport. The perfect scenario for redevelopment is impossible but political courage is not. Before rushing to push a whole section of the city into a superficial redevelopment, city council members need to take a stand for the city on other levels.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cine16 this Thursday: the joys of cartoon corpuscles!

Another third Thursday of the month brings another Cine16 showing!

This month's theme is "What Beats a Heart?" If you like Valentine's Day, enjoy this belated Valentine's Day event! Or, if you share our opinion of the holiday, consider the theme a celebration of the marvels of the cardiovascular system.

Here's what you need to know!

The Academic Film Archive of St. Louis and The Missouri Historical Society present:

CINE 16- Vintage School Films
Two very special films for this month's theme: "What Beats a Heart?"

"Hemo the Magnificent" (1957) by director Frank Capra (of "It's a Wonderful Life" fame)

"The Red Balloon" (1956) Winner of the Academy Award for Best Short Film in 1956

Films start at 7PM (south entrance will remain open after museum hours)
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Southwestern Bell Education Center (lower level)
Missouri Historical Society, corner of Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis.

The 2nd level snack bar will be open before the show and during intermission. Enjoy your food and drink during the show.

Directions and museum information:

The Academic Film Archive of St. Louis is a satellite program of the Academic Film Archive of North America, based in San Jose, California. The series is co-curated in St. Louis by Claire Nowak-Boyd and Michael Allen. Bud Stanfield is the series projectionist. Evalyn Williams is the St. Louis archive manager. The Missouri Historical Society generously provides the screening venue.

What is "academic film"? From the early 1900s to about 1985, many of the best art, history, social science, literature and science films made were produced for academic settings on 16 millimeter film. AFA is dedicated to preserving these films and to educating the public about films of this era through free screenings and lectures.

For more information about AFANA, visit http://www.afana.org

"Are you lost?" in our own neighborhood, law enforcement edition.

I ought to mention that we were pulled over Friday night!

We had just come back from a concert, and were en route to spin past the location of a job I had been offered earlier in the day. We were driving along the edge of Hyde Park (the park) at about 12:30 in the morning, just a few blocks from our house. We had the following conversation:

M: That police car is following us.
C: Do you think so?

...and then the lights went on, and we pulled over. The officer sat there with his lights on for a good two minutes before finally pulling up next to us and explaining why we'd been pulled over. He said slowly, while eyeing us strangely, "I'm looking for a 1997 [make of our car]. You have a 1993." He seemed reluctant to let us go, but did. Of course, he had to ask, "Are you folks lost?"

"No, we live in this neighborhood."

And that was that. He let us go.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Street Level Retail Round-Up

Banners advertising the street-level commercial space in the Century Building Memorial Parking Garage have been switched to reflect a name change. The old banners has proclaimed the commercial space to be "The Shoppes on Ninth Street," in homage to the Middle English traditions of the central business district. The new banners sport a more prosaic name: "Shops on Post Office Square."

Meanwhile, the Board of Education's storefronts remain empty nearly one year after the condominium conversion was completed. The Pyramid Companies now manage the retail space, so perhaps they will follow their impressive total leasing of the Paul Brown Building's ground floor with a good effort on the other side of the Old Post Office.

Even more surprising is that the street-level commercial space in the Continental Life Building, which reopened in late 2002, has never been reopened. This is despite the developer's touting the space's future as a fancy restaurant befitting the art deco landmark's great architecture. Then again, as Grand Center Inc. continues to pursue a plan for the neighborhood that excludes small businesses, it has been a tough time for any storefront in Midtown.

Some good news is that the owners of the 1960's-era Days Inn building at Washington and Tucker downtown will be renovating the old hotel into apartments as well as seeking a 24-hour diner tenant for the building's prominent first-floor corner.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

LRA Reform?

Pub Def reports that Alderman Troupe is talking about reforming the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), the city's largest real estate arm. LRA mainly owns vacant properties whose owners have failed to pay taxes or otherwise abandoned the properties. Some say that the LRA hoards vacant buildings and makes it difficult for individual rehabbers to buy their properties, which are ostensibly for sale to the public. Others talk about the LRA's giving low-income people the chance to buy a building for $1 (plus the cost of rehabbing one of their derelict buildings); those days seem to have passed.

Two things are clear:

1. The LRA does not do much to stabilize and maintain the buildings it owns, and frequently ends up demolishing them. LRA has often torn down buildings that are contributing resources to local and national historic districts -- often against the recommendation of the city's Cultural Resources Office.

2. Despite the LRA being a citywide agency under the auspices of the St. Louis Development Corporation, LRA properties in each of the city's wards are virtually controlled by the aldermen. In fact, as part of the official process for purchasing an LRA building, the LRA asks the alderman for the ward for approval of the sale. If the local leader says "no," the sale is almost always dead, and the property could sit vacant for another decade before a better-connected buyer comes along.

These are two things that could stand to be changed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Building: An Instrument

David Byrne's installation Playing the Building is intriguing:

"Playing the building is a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations will be of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument."

It's different than other sonic projects involving buildings. Two of which I am aware employ buildings as amplifiers of recorded sound rather than instruments with which to make sound. Unlike Silophone, the production and reception of sound in Playing the Building each take place in the same space at the same time, and uses that space itself to produce the initial sound. Unlike Northampton State Hospital: In Memoriam, Playing the Building involves the manipulation of the physical elements of the building.

How do we get the installation to St. Louis?

Monday, February 6, 2006

3511 Arsenal

One of my favorite houses in the Tower Grove Park area is the two-flat at 3511 Arsenal Street. I love its monochromatic articulation in red brick and terra cotta, and its overdone neoclassical ornamentation, suggestive of South American influences.

Last year, I watched as it was boarded up and renovated. The house had its original windows and appeared to be in good condition; it had been occupied for its whole life until then.

Unfortunately, the result of the renovation is baffling at best (what's with fake nine-over-nine windows?).

Friday, February 3, 2006

Greyhound on the Move

Word is that Greyhound has signed a lease for the proposed multi-modal transportaion center planned in downtown St. Louis just south of Kiel Center.

What is going to happen to the lovely Cass Bank Building at 13th and Cass now occupied by Greyhound? It is located in a nether zone between downtown and the near northside's residential areas, and will be uncomfortably close to a noisy and congested off-ramp from the proposed Mississippi River bridge. Will the Beaux Arts building and its lobby of marble and gilt plaster be another casulty? Or can we figure out a new use for it before Greyhound vacates?

What would you like to see there?

Parallel spins

Thanks to Ross for tipping us off to this one:

"One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally."

The article goes on to quote Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman as saying, "This was purely an example."

Another Bush advisor, speaking anonymously, stated that Bush spoke of the Middle East because he wanted to convey the idea in a way that "every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands."

I post this here because when I read the article, the excuses that Bush's handlers made up for him reminded me so, so much of something that the Slay administration's spin machine would try to use, i.e. "When Slay said that he would improve the schools and regain all the accreditation points that have been lost under his administration, he was just using an example. He wanted people to understand. He didn't mean it literally."

No, it hasn't happened yet, but that spin just sounded so familiar to me, so much like something that the mayor's highly paid PR firm would try to offer up. Both the Bush machine and the Slay machine have been shredding public schools, but reporting it as if it was a good thing ("No Child Left Behind" and a wad of SLPS PR spending*, while violence in the schools continues to be a problem and SLPS jobs keep getting cut). Bush refers to increasing allowable pollutants as Clean Air, and Slay positively spins an increase in violent crime. And both of them will tell you that the economy is great, no matter how it's doing (Seriously, with all the jobs lost in the Federated buyout of Famous Barr, you think at least they wouldn't brag that we're being called the new Midwestern HQ of Macy's--what a joke!).

Up is down, down is up, and quality of life is simply an advertising battle.


* "If we learn to do well, we won't need a PR campaign. If not, all the PR in the world would just make us look foolish."--Bill Haas at the January 17, 2006 School Board meeting.


I was putzing around over at Pruned yesterday, and I came across this old post about cellular infrastructure. Apparently, some companies now design cell phone towers to look like various kinds of trees, in an effort to make them blend in (and pass muster with politicians who decide whether they get built or not). Though I suppose in some situations they might look better than a normal cell phone tower, it seems to me that they probably usually just look silly. From what I've seen, most of them are stick-straight and obviously fake; you've got to wonder who would see one of those things and be fooled. ("Gee, honey, look at that beautiful perfectly straight, too-tall tree with all the robotic machinery coming out of the top and the giant drum attached to the side! Is that a new cyborg breed of palm tress?")

Most of the cell phone tower fake trees seem to be manufactured in California, a part of the country with a decidedly different ecology and landscape from our town. Out of curiosity, I walked out on our roof to think about what effect such a "tree" would have on the St. Louis landscape. I didn't see any trees that stuck out that high--most of the ones I did see didn't go much further than two stories tall, even in this older part of the city. What stuck out above the urban canopy? Well, based on what I saw, I propose a St. Louis version of disguised cell phone towers:

1. Cell phone towers designed to look like the smokestacks of defunct historic German factories
2. Cell phone towers designed to look like the steeples of shuttered historic Catholic churches
3. Cell phone towers designed to look like The Gateway Arch--all over the city, you'd see little, three-story-tall arches with people standing underneath them on cell phones. If the Arch is being used to sell t-shirts, and its likeness is in just about every logo in the city, this is the logical next step!
4. Cell phone towers designed to look like standpipe water towers--no one will be fooled!
5. Cell phone towers designed to look like cell phone towers

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Why yes, you did just see a pig fly past your window!

At the January 23, 2006 Preservation Review Board meeting, Richard Callow said something that I actually agree with.

Commenting on the hemming and hawing over just how far a fake brick veneer should wrap around a new building going up in the Central West End, he joked:

"Is there some sort of national or local brick shortage?!?"

National Trust covers plight of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church

Houses Could Replace St. Louis Church - Megan Hogan (Preservation Online, February 1)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's online magazine offers this coverage of the proposed demolition of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church, featuring quotes from my report for Landmarks Association of St. Louis and from Steve Patterson. I'm glad that they actually care about this historic St. Louis building.