by Michael R. Allen
On Saturday, the UEU 314 blog reported that the Spivey Building in East St. Louis was now sealed following what may have been a collapse of building material. Knowing that some of the parapet had already been destabilized and removed onto the rooftop, and also having heard recently that someone absconded with that terra cotta, I called up a neighbor and we drove over to the Spivey Saturday evening.
Sure enough, all access points have been closed up. The method used is quite solid, and I was reassured that the owner (Stacey Hastie of EOI) is taking threats to the Spivey seriously.
A look up at the parapet revealed further spalling at the corner where the terra cotta rib had already been removed. Many pieces of terra cotta lie in ruin at the base of the corner, along with brick and stone coping from the side parapet wall.
Still, vigilance is needed to keep the thieves away from the great buildings of downtown East St. Louis. The snakes have struck before, including in March 2005 when three ornamental keystones disappeared from the Murphy Building the same weekend an out-of-town architectural salvage dealer was in town.