We've Moved

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

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Old Armour Company Warehouse Lost

The Schaeffer Moving Company had long occupied the three-story building at 2422 North Broadway, and its red enameled sign (once ablaze through neon tubing) was a familiar site to those who work and live around the area. The steel-framed building actually began its life around the turn of the century as a two-story distribution warehouse for meat-packing giant the Armour Company. The third floor was added in 1911.

The side elevation facing Benton Street (now legally vacated) was an impressive run of steel-sash windows. After the moving company vacated the building about a decade ago, the possibility for reuse easily was apparent.

Instead of reuse, however, the holding company that owns the large row of warehouses to the north (2508 N. Broadway LLC) opted to demolish the old building this month. With the street now vacated, that company can assemble a large parking lot for those buildings.

Since the old Armour building lies in the Fifth Ward, there is no preservation review that might have prevented this senseless loss. The Fifth Ward is one of eight wards out of 28 that does not participate in the city's preservation review program. (More here.)

Hence, this is what the building looked like yesterday afternoon. Gone. Soon, the ruinous Armour Packing Plant in East St. Louis will also fall, and we will have few tangible traces to our city's crucial role in the development of the company that turned meatpacking into a science. Yet we will have a few more places to park our cars -- not bad, eh?


barbara_on_19th said...

Why do we have this patchwork system where some areas get more city services (planning, demo review) than others?

STLgasm said...

Man, that would've been a great loft conversion. Depressing.

samizdat said...

Ya' know it's bad when the stench of corrupt politics is worse than that of the abattoir.

Chris said...

Wait, have they scheduled a date for demolition of the meatpacking plant?

Moving guide Jay said...

I will never understand why companies (like the Schaeffer Moving Company, even though it was ages ago) who have a good name in some locality and like everybody knows where to find them simply move to a new place. Yeah, this concrete building was old, but I am talking about the principle. On the other hand, new parking places will be pretty awesome.

Best regards, Jay.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Vernon Schaffer died in September 2009 of cancer. He has been ill for many years. The building was sold in 2008 to the neighboring warehouse company.