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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Raise a Cup for Preservation

Next Friday, unwind with your fellow preservationists over a pint of fresh keg beer -- while helping to raise money for your right to stand up to senseless demolition!

On Friday, December 11, local preservationists will host another Anti-Wrecking Ball to raise funds for ongoing legal efforts. Darren Snow, host of KDHX’s "Rocket 88" program, is the DJ for the party. All who attend will be entered into a raffle for prizes from STL Style, St. Louis Cinemas and other local businesses. The venue will be a new community gallery in Old North St. Louis in the heart of the nearly-completed 14th Street redevelopment project.

When: Friday, December 11 from 8:00 p.m. - midnight.

Where: Old North St. Louis Community Gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street

Cost: $10 (includes beer)

The Anti-Wrecking Ball will raise funds for the ongoing appeal of this year’s ruling by St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Robert Dierker that citizens have no standing under city preservation law.

When the Preservation Board approved -- by a close 3-2 vote -- demolition of the modern San Luis Apartments in June, the Friends of the San Luis filed an injunction in court. Under city preservation law, the citizens who make up Friends of the San Luis have a right to appeal – but only after a demolition permit has been issued! The Friends sued to stop demolition so we could appeal the Preservation Board ruling.

However, Judge Dierker ruled against the Friends, and not because he thought their argument was wrong, but because he thinks that citizens who are not owners of property threatened with demolition should have no right to protest or appeal. The San Luis Apartments were demolished this summer, but the ruling left a bigger issue that affects all citizens regardless of what they think about that one particular building.

Unchallenged, Dierker’s ruling could impede citizen efforts to save community landmarks across the city. The Friends of the San Luis filed an appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals in September to stand up for future preservation efforts. The Friends of the San Luis believe that citizen rights should not be demolished along with the San Luis Apartments.

Consequently, the Friends of the San Luis and other preservationists have organized the Anti-Wrecking Ball to raise funds to cover attorney’s fees. After the Friends wins its appeal, the Anti-Wrecking Ball movement will continue to raise money for legal costs associated with citizen preservation action.


Joe said...

Do we but ticket's at the door? I'm in!

Matt Fernandez said...

Yes, no advance tickets, just pay at the door.