We've Moved

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

More Buildings Falling on MLK in The Ville

The St. Louis Preservation Board approved demolition of these cast-iron-front commercial buildings at 4420, 4422 and 4424 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in the Ville at its meeting on Monday, September 24 (see report). The center building at 4422 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive burned and collapsed earlier this month. The flanking buildings are deteriorated but not beyond rehabilitation. In fact, they likely would contribute to a national historic district along Martin Luther King Drive in the Ville. Alas, no architectural survey and district nomination have been completed in recent years. Alderman Sam Moore (D-4th) requested the demolitions along with demolition of commercial buildings at 4149 and 4153 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (see report). Those permits also were approved by the Board.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for updating us with the horrible news. With each fire and each subsequent demolition I see the job of brining back a vibrant MLK commercial district as more and more difficult. The prospect of turning MLK into a strip mall hell seems more the likely path.

Anonymous said...

This post raises many questions.

1) Who would rehab these buildings and at what cost?

2) If not rehab, who would stabilize these buildings and at what cost?

3) If no national register district in the Ville now, who would carry out such effort, at what cost, and who would pay for it?

4) If the alderman and other neighborhood residents want these buildings demolished, possibly for (shudder) strip retail, then who's job is it to prevent them from doing so, educating them to do something different, or generally preventing said demolitions?

5) If these buildings were next door or across the alley from your home or business, what would you want done with them?

6) How long have these buildings been in abandoned, who owns them now, and why have they been allowed to deteriorate to their current condition?

7) Where is the historic preservastion community in terms of prioritizing buildings like these for rehab, and raising funds for their interim stabilization?

8) If there was a miracle $250,000 found for historic preservation in St. Louis, should it go toward these two buildings or the Mullanphy Emigrant Home?

9) When you can't get everything you want, how do you decide what to do?

10) Are we coming up with practical solutions to these challenging situations or are we just ushering on the continuing decay?