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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mullanphy Emigrant Home Hit Again



The Mullanphy Emigrant Home in Old North St. Louis sustained more damage during today's severe storm and accompanying gust. The biggest damage fell on the south section of the primary (east) elevation, adjacent to the south elevation that collapsed last year; that section collapsed from roof to foundation. (See photograph above.) The north elevation also partly collapsed. (See photograph below.)

The collapse of the east elevation is most damaging because the building's joists run perpendicular and are tied into the wall. Without temporary bracing between floors recently, the joists would have had no support and would have failed completely.

8 comments:

Matt Fernandez said...

That is very disappointing to come home to. This makes the fundraising efforts all the more important because I bet the cost of stabilization just shot through the roof.

Anonymous said...

just shot through the roof.

(sic). That may be the only half smile to come out of this situation.

PE

GMichaud said...

While the new bracing may have prevented the whole structure from collapsing, the bracing may have also raised the floor joists off the brick, weakening that whole section of wall. In any case, the tuckpointing must be terrible all over the building. I'm not sure of the building is safe at this point, but if safe volunteers could certainly repoint the interior walls. The lack of gutters probably contributed to weakening of the walls over time also. There is a tremendous amount of work to do if that building is to be saved.
If other bracing was done in the building, someone may want to check to be sure it isn't lifting the joists off the brick, even a small amount will release the compressive holding power of the joists.

Paul Hohmann said...

The other problem could be that the stabilization done to date has not done anything to keep prevailing wind gusts from blowing into the building from the south west. Its just like when you put your mouth over the opening of a bag and blow into it... the walls want to blow out, and the weakest portions are going to give away. Building a temporary solid wall in place of the original south wall could have prevented this latest failure by creating a barrier to the pressure of wind gusts getting inside the building.

ab said...

Driving back to Chicago Sunday we noticed the jungle growing up within the decrepit structures of "downtown" East St. Louis; as if the earth were reclaiming itself. Sounds like with this building and the Switzer Building, the sentiment of allowing things to just crumble and be absorbed by nature is metro-wide.

Sean Thomas said...

Paul has pointed out that "Building a temporary solid wall in place of the original south wall could have prevented this latest failure by creating a barrier to the pressure of wind gusts getting inside the building."
That certainly is true, but it takes a little bit of money to buy the materials and build the wall. So, if you want to help keep future wind gusts from causing further damage, all you need to do is send a tax-deductible contribution to "Mullanphy Emigrant Home" c/o Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, 2800 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63107. For an online payment option with a credit card, look for the "Donate Now" button at www.NewOldNorth.blogspot.com.

Anonymous said...

If this building were south of Delmar, it would already be rehabbed.

Same for the Clemens House.

Too bad our city's weid mental block against half of itself is destroying our heritage.

JadedElite said...

posted this trying to raise support and money on www.stlouisraver.com

we have thrown several events in the near northside area and will do all we can to raise the awareness of our subculture to the problems that exist in that area.

may be a little slow going, we just tapped eveyone for an alzheimers fundraiser a week ago... and young people don't have much money, but i will see what we can scrape together.

posted info on the royal event and the schlafly event there to try and draw people out.