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Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday: Preservation Month Party

As this year's Historic Preservation Month winds down, it's time to celebrate!
What: Anti-Wrecking Ball: Soulard Stable Hootenanny
Where: Stahl Stable, 2412 Menard Street
When: 8:00 p.m. this Saturday, May 22

Cost: $10 benefits the Friends of the San Luis and the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation

What's this all about? Well, for those new to the story, the Friends of the San Luis went to court to try to stop the demolition of the mid-century San Luis Apartments on Lindell Boulevard. The effort was slapped down by a circuit court judge who ruled not only to allow demolition to proceed but that no citizen has a right to appeal a St. Louis Preservation Board decision without a direct financial interest in a property.

The Friends could have stopped right there, since they lost their beloved space-age building. Instead, they filed an appeal to challenge the basis of the judge's ruling for the benefit of all future preservation efforts. On May 5, the Missouri Court of Appeals heard the case. During arguments that day, we received more favorable consideration than expected, so we are confident that the ruling will benefit future preservation efforts.

This effort was not free, and attorneys Jonathan Beck and Ian Simmons have shown themselves well worth our expenses. With the matter past us, it's time to toast preservation efforts past, present and future and make a little money to pay off those legal bills. (If you cannot attend but want to help that cause, send me a note at michael@preservationresearch.com).

The St. Louis Building Arts Foundation is on the bill as well, for providing an amazing historic space for the event and for efforts to preserve our architectural heritage more enduring than the soon-to-sunset Friends of the San Luis. There is a link between the long-term visionary efforts of the Foundation and the take-action single-mission Friends of the San Luis. We need both levels of action to make historic preservation matter in St. Louis. (This is not to slight all of the other worthy organizations that compose the effort here -- these two are far from the only organizations in town doing this hard work well.)

On Saturday, let's celebrate a strong preservation effort and look toward the future!

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