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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dutchtown Center Hall House on December 22 Preservation Board Agenda

On Monday, December 22 the St. Louis Preservation Board will again consider demolition of the frame center-hall house at 4722 Tennessee Avenue in Dutchtown. New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC) applied for a demolition permit in the fall that the city's Cultural Resources Office denied. NLEC appealed the denial to the board, which was set to consider the matter at its November 2008 meeting. (See "NLEC Seeks Demolition of Frame Center Hall House on Tennessee," November 23.) NLEC obtained a deferral, and the item was moved to the current agenda.

The Preservation Board previously denied an appeal of a staff denial in 2007. NLEC purchased the house after this denial. Alderwoman Dorothy Kirner (D-25th) is opposed to demolition, and many neighbors are opposed to NLEC's presence in Dutchtown. Seems like the smart path would be for NLEC to act on Kirner's opposition to find assistance in rehabilitating the historic house.

At the last Preservation Board meeting, the NLEC representative who attended testified that NLEC might want to explore rehabilitation of the house. I have no knowledge if NLEC has decided to suspend plans for demolition or not. As far as I know, the Board will be considering the appeal on Monday, and citizens need to be prepared to testify on behalf of preservation then.

The Preservation Board meets Monday, December 22 at 4:00 p.m. in the 12th floor conference room at 1015 Locust Street downtown. Written testimony can be sent to the board via Adonna Buford, BufordA@stlouiscity.com.


Anonymous said...

The building looks to be in fine condition.

Why don't they just sell it? There are plenty of vacant lots around if that's what they want.

Whether they can get community support for whatever they want to do there, that's another story.

Matt M. said...

I have already submitted my testimony via email!

Ben West said...

As a mentioned in comment I made to the previous story on this topic, I do believe it is worth asking whether NLEC considers demolishing the house because they have to meet the city's off-street parking demands for their energy center next door. If so, then they likely have to provide one off-street parking space for every 3 persons of occupancy in the center (e.g. 100 person occupancy permit = need to provide 33 off-street parking spaces).

Naturally, the people likely to come to the NLEC center probably will not be driving, so if the city is trying to hold NLEC to the very letter of the parking requirement, it could well be motivated by the neighborhood's opposition to NLEC rather than the need to accommodate fictional cars. NLEC may be wanting to demo the house because they feel they have no choice.

Vacant lots may not be a viable option for NLEC either, as the city requires off-street parking be within 1000feet of the building. There aren't many vacant lots on that block, although I admit I've no idea what NLEC's plans are for the lot right next to the house in question.

CowgirlPam said...

Does anyone know what happened last night at the Preservation Board meeting regarding this house?