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Sunday, November 23, 2008

NLEC Seeks Demolition of Frame Center Hall House on Tennessee

The New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC) has appealed the Cultural Resources Office's denial of a demolition permit for the 19th centuery center-hall house at 4722 Tennessee Avenue. The house in Dutchtown went through the same ordeal last year when developers sought its demolition. On appeal, the Preservation Board denied the permit. The developers then sold the property to the NLEC for a controversial homeless facility.

To its credit, NLEC secured the house after purchase. While there is some deterioration of concern, the house is sound and in its present state secure against water and trespass. The Cultural Resources Office is wisely recommending that the Board uphold its denial, and Alderwoman Dorothy Kirner (D-25th) also supports preservation of the unique house.

There are a small number of center-hall homes remaining in the city, and less than ten frame examples. These homes mostly date to 19th century pre-subdivision settlement of neighborhoods, and some were part of farms. The house on Tennessee is probably the most intact example of a frame center-hall house in the city, and located in a stable neighborhood where rehabilitation is not only desirable but completely feasible.

The Preservation Board meets at 4:00 p.m. Monday, November 24, in the 12th floor conference room at 1015 Locust Street downtown. The meeting agenda is online. Correspondence to the board may be sent to BufordA@stlouiscity.com.


Ben West said...

This building sits adjacent to the structure NLEC is/was hoping to use for their renewable energy center in Dutchtown.

(That building is visible in the extreme right of the photo above, and it has a greenhouse roof and some solar panels. Here is another photo of the building to provide some context.)

A better question might be: is NLEC seeking to demo the house because they want it out of the way, or because the city is demanding they provide oodles and oodles of off-street parking for their center's occupancy permit? And, this would be parking for homeless and very low income residents, the sort who usually don't own cars, coming to the center for classes, workshops, and whatnot.

Perhaps we should stop tearing down the built environment to accommodate fictional cars.

Brian said...

I love this little house.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if NLEC would be interested in moving the house to another location, say, Old North? Perhaps someone could do some research on cost to demolish vs. cost to relocate the structure across town.

Just an idea.

Linsey said...

I love this house! I just started subscribing to this blog, and look forward to hearing news about this one. Surely it should be given a chance to sell on the market...

Anonymous said...

Old North, Old North, Old North...

Can't anyone think of another northside neighborhood besides Old North?

It's like a broken record. How about spreading the wealth a little?

Anonymous said...

First of all, moving it to Old North or anywhere on that side of the city would automatically make it worth less that it is currently worth. Second of all, what's wrong with where it is? You'd be removing a structure from its original spot. It was built there and it should stay there.

I used to think it would be neat to move homes from the Academy neighborhood to Tower Grove and basically "replace" the homes that Tower Grove has lost over the years. Again there's no point. One way or another urban landscape is being lost.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, anonymous, you propose a north side neighborhood to move this to or come up with some exciting ideas of your own. Excuse me if I mention Old North in my comments, but it is my neighborhood and I will continue to promote it.

Spread the wealth a little? You first.

Anonymous said...

Spread the wealth? That's a definite work in progress.

Old North? Ya gotta love it.

This little frame place? Isn't it in a Nat Register District now?

Demos just don't happen willy nilly in those situations, do they?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that's a national historic district. Could be wrong.