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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Massive demolition coming to Forest Park Southeast

The agenda for the Preservation Board meeting on Monday, April 24 shows an application for demolition permits for 30 buildings in Forest Park Southeast. These buildings are owned by Forest West Properties, which is tied to Washington University. Apparently the demolition is related to an infill housing project.

A quick memory scan and drive-by shows that at least ten of the buildings are of high local architectural merit and are structurally sound. I was surprised at how many of these buildings are masonry and how many are two-story buildings. I'm sure that the infill housing developer and their friends in city government will be talking "density" even though they will be replacing four unit buildings with single-family homes. Some of the wood-frame buildings on the list are of questionable architectural merit and are quite dilapidated, but probably 10-15 of these buildings are clearly worth preserving.

We will be developing a site section with photos and short evaluations; in the meantime, we managed to find photos of three of the buildings in our collection:
4371 Hunt Avenue; 4484 and 4486-90 Vista Avenue.


Anonymous said...

How can you tell that the application is for demolition from that agenda? I'm not trying to contradict, I am just interested.

Anonymous said...

I've always been afraid that Wash U was going to become impatient with a revitilization of the neighborhood through rehab going too slowly for their taste, and do a Mo Bot Gardens full-blown destruction of the neighborhood a la McRee town. I used to live in FPSE, and used to walk the streets to admire the wealth of architectural gems in the neighborhood. As bad as the destruction of McRee town was, to see such a fate befall FPSE would just break my heart.

Michael R. Allen said...

Darren (and anyone else):

Please send your thoughts about the proposed demolition to Kate Shea, Cultural Resources Director of the City of St. Louis, at SheaK@stlouiscity.com. She can distribute those comments to members of the Preservation Board before Monday.

If you can, consider attending the Preservation Board metting on Monday at 4:00 p.m. at 1015 Locust Street, 12th floor.