Demolition Downtown Historic Preservation Hyde Park North St. Louis Preservation Board South St. Louis

UPDATED: Three Demolition Applications and One Appeal on Monday’s Preservation Board Agenda

by Michael R. Allen

UPDATED Monday, Sepetmber 24.

Three applications for demolition are on the final agenda for Monday’s meeting of the St. Louis Preservation Board. The permit applications are:

– 2868 Missouri Avenue in Benton Park (national and local historic district), owned by Craig Hamby & Brian Magill. A two-story corner commercial building, located across the street from the restaurant Yemanja Brasil, mostly collapsed last year. An adjacent building is stable, but the owner seeks to demolish it too. Application includes new construction.

– 4153 (owned by James and Betty Mitchell) and 4220-22 Martin Luther King Drive (owned by LRA) and 4224 Martin Luther King Drive (owned by Tommie Hampton) in The Ville. The buildings on Martin Luther King are brick commercial buildings. The building at 4222 Martin Luther King collapsed last month, perhaps causing damage to its neighbors.

There is one appeal of a staff denials:

– 2217-19 Olive Street downtown, owned by Gary and Gail Andrews. This is a two-story, flat-roofed brick commercial structure.

The meeting begins at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 24, on the twelfth floor of the office building at 1015 Locust Street.

Events Hyde Park North St. Louis People

Today’s Rehabbers’ Club Meeting in Hyde Park

by Michael R. Allen

Under the cover of great weather, this morning the Rehabbers’ Club made its way to Hyde Park for its monthly meeting. The meetings follow a show-and-tell format designed to expose city residents to dedicated rehabbers and developers, unique projects and the city’s many fantastic neighborhoods.

Today, the meeting began at the Friedens United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall at 19th and Newhouse, where Friedens Neighborhood Foundation YouthBuild Program Director Brian Marston discussed the new YouthBuild academy and its rehabilitation of the church’s long-vacant historic school building. Afterwards, I gave a short walking tour that went through the park and ended at what will be a spectacular rehabilitation project: developer Peter George’s rebuilding of the Nord St. Louis Turnverein.

Included on the tour was a garden that Friedens has dedicated in honor of Marti Frumhoff, founder of the Rehabbers’ Club as well as the Publishing Group.

While attendance was atypically low, typical of summer meetings, the crowd’s mix was noteworthy: a former president of Metropolis, a 37-year resident of Hyde Park, a micro-developer who is taking on the difficult rehab of five historic buildings in Old North, one of the earliest members of the Rehabbers’ Club, a Riverfront Times reporter, a resident of Carondelet, a young family seeking to buy and rehab in Hyde Park and myself. Marti’s desire to connect all of us continues to realize success.

Hyde Park Mortgage Fraud People

US Attorney Indicts Doug Hartmann

by Michael R. Allen

Today the US Attorney’s office announced that it is indicting mortgage fraud artist Doug Hartmann for bank and mail fraud. Hartmann’s scheme involved nearly 250 properties, including scores of historic houses in the city of St. Louis and the Nord St. Louis Turnverein, which burned last July under Hartmann’s ownership.

The Post-Dispatch has the story here.

Demolition Hyde Park North St. Louis Preservation Board St. Louis Board of Aldermen

Bosley Won’t Support Any More Demolition in Hyde Park

by Michael R. Allen

During testimony at Monday’s Preservation Board meeting, Alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr. (D-3rd) stated that he would no longer support demolition in the Hyde Park Historic District, a federally-certified local historic district located entirely within his ward.

According to Bosley, decades of demolition have taken their toll. After watching buildings fall during days when the Hyde Park neighborhood was more desperate for development, he sees mistakes in past practices. However, the alderman wants to see extensive new construction in the neighborhood because it makes the older buildings more attractive to rehabbers.

Bosley was testifying in favor of a plan to build two new houses on 25nd Street offered by Mark Zerillo in consultation with realtor, developer and Preservation Board Vice Chairperson Mary “One” Johnson. The houses would entail reuse of existing foundations poured in 1995 but never build upon that would support two-story brick-faced frame houses supposedly modeled on older flat-roofed flats on the neighborhood.

Cultural Resources Office Director Kate Shea opposed granting preliminary approval due to the project’s lack of compliance with the standards of the local district. (Read Shea’s report here.) The Preservation Board concurred; a motion to withhold preliminary approval made by John Burse passed by a vote of 5-1 with board member Ald. Terry Kennedy (D-18th) opposed.

The Preservation Board also granted preliminary approval to infill housing in Hyde Park proposed by a development group headed by Ken Nuernburger (more here). That plan called for demolition of a two-story commercial building at 2303 Salisbury and a two-story brick house at 3915 N. 25th Street, across the street from the foundations proposed for reuse by Zerillo and the Johnsons.

The Board approved demolition of the building on Salisbury by a vote of 8-1, with member Mike Killeen dissenting. The Board denied demolition of the building on 25th street by a vote of 5-3, with members David Richardson, Johnson and Kennedy dissenting. Chairman Richard Callow abstained from these votes.

Central West End Hyde Park Lafayette Square Northside Regeneration Preservation Board St. Louis Place

Summary of Monday’s Preservation Board Meeting

by Michael R. Allen

Here is a summary of actions at Monday’s meeting of the St. Louis Preservation Board, by agenda item. The meeting started with only two members present, Chairman Richard Callow and David Richardson. Later, members Anthony Robinson, Alderman Terry Kennedy and Luis Porello arrived.


A. 5291 Washington; application for new construction.
ACTION: Deferred due to lack of quorum.

B. 4155-63 Magnolia; application to install vinyl windows on an early 20th century revival-style apartment building in Shaw. Owner Lisa Presley applied to replace 300 wooden windows on the front elevation of this apartment building with white vinyl windows featuring simulated dividers. Normally, this would be unconvincing but the front elevation happens to face the side of the lot with the long, narrow apartment building running from street to alley. An interesting moment came when Presley’s window salesman stated that vinyl windows lasted forever. When asked how long aluminum windows, he said almost as long as vinyl.
ACTION: Denied by vote of 2-1 with Alderman Kennedy dissenting.

C. 3628 N. 14th Street; application to retain vinyl windows installed without a permit. This wonderful commercial building at the southeast corner of 14th and Salisbury in Hyde Park suffered the removal of its wooden windows and a prism-glass transom last year; most windows were evident and likely in condition to be rehabbed. Owner Lisa Hines claimed that although she had rehabbed 16 buildings, she had never rehabbed in a “blighted” historic district where design standards applied. She also claimed that most of the windows werer broken or missing when she bought the building. I presented a photo showing most of the windows in place, without much evident damage; rehabber Barbara Manzara discussed how easy window rehab can be.
ACTION: Denied by unanimous vote.

D. 1912 LaSalle Street; application for addition. Owner Thomas Benignus and his architect Ralph Wafer presented design for an addition to a house in Lafayette Square; Paul Doerner of the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee stated that he liked the design but wanted review by the LSRC Development Committee.
ACTION: Approved by unanimous vote.

E. 2035 Park Avenue; application for alteration and addition of building. At this point, the meeting still lacked a quorum so the item was pushed off until later. Owner Thomas Bramlette wants to rebuild the odd one-story brick church building sometimes called the ugliest building in Lafayette Square. Architect Ted Wofford has designed a graceful Italianate project that will resurrect the low hipped roof form that was found in the Square before the 1896 tornado. Cultural Resources Office Director Kate Shea claimed that the roof was too short and the second-story addition two narrow for a house that sites between two impressive and larger homes and wanted approval to require a taller roof and wider second story.
ACTION: Approved by unanimous vote without stipulations sought by Shea.


F. 4549 Pershing; application to retain light standard in front yard. Owners have installed a bizarre and inappropriate light standard in the front yard of this Central West End home without a permit, in violation of local historic district standards.
ACTION: Permit approved by 2-1 vote with Richardson dissenting.

G. 4320 Arco Avenue; application for demolition. Owner Dwight Hatchett wants to demolish this one-story Forest Park Southeast house. The house, a splendid flat-roofed Romanesque is missing roof decking and its parapets have massive mortar deterioration. However, Hatchett has performed no maintenance and has no plans for redevelopment; he stated that he wants to tear the house down and sell it to neighbors for side yards. Hatchett started his testimony by stating his fear that the building would fall and kill someone — a rather old trick. Opposition testimony came from Manzara, Anthony Coffin, Claire Nowak-Boyd and myself. A motion to uphold the staff denial from Porrello failed, as did a motion to grant approval from Kennedy. Board member Robinson abstained from both votes; he stated that without a roof the house would surely collapse and denying the permit could still condemn the house. He moved to defer consideration for 60 days to give the applicant time to sell the house.
ACTION: Deferred for 60 days by unanimous vote.

H. 59 Kingsbury Place; application to retain inappropriate windows installed without permit. William Streett, owner of this Colonial Revival home, removed the original 12-over-1 windows and replaced them with casement windows to completely alter the architectural character of the house. His 20-minute defense (what happened to time limits?) was a ludicrous PowerPoint presentation that covered the design of other houses on the street and his personal preferences but did little to address the fact that he violated a local design ordinance. Streett boldly claimed that his house’s hipped roof was borrowed from French architecture and thus muddied the stylistic waters; however, he seemed to have never read the local district ordinance or the National Register of Historic Places nomination that clearly state both the recognized style of his house and the requirement that its original appearance be maintained no matter what Streett may think is appropriate. Opposition testimony came from William Seibert, representing the Central West End Association, and myself.
ACTION: Staff denial upheld by unanimous vote.

I. 1120, 1124 and 1400-02 Newhouse Avenue; application for demolition. The applicant, the Land Reutilization Authority, did not send a representative. In the absence of a quorum, the applicant must be present to waive the right to having an appeal heard by quorum.
ACTION: Set aside for next meeting.

J. 1629 N. 19th Street; application for demolition. This house is owned by VHS Partners LLC, one of Paul McKee’s north side holding companies. However, the demolition is sought by Ald. April Ford-Griffin and the application is the Board of Public Service. The board neglected to send a representative.
ACTION: Set aside for next meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the Preservation Board unanimously voted to enter into the minutes of the meeting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary for Marti Frumhoff.

Events Hyde Park North St. Louis

Saturday: Friedens Open House in Hyde Park

Tomorrow, also consider dropping by a cool event showcasing some of the grassroots energy transforming at least one corner of the Hyde Park neighborhood — and hopefully spreading outward.

The Friedens Neighborhood Foundation and Landmarks Association of St. Louis invite you to an open house at the historic Friedens United Church of Christ church and fellowship hall buildings at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to the buildings, Friedens will have on display renderings of the projected rehabilitation of two neighboring historic buildings that will be rehabbed by students in the new Northside YouthBuild Academy based at Friedens.

Also, at 2:30 p.m., there will be a screening of the films “Heritage Homes of St. Louis” and “The Challenge of Urban Renewal,” both from the 1960s but still relevant today. Films are shown courtesy of the Academic Film Archive – St. Louis. (To tie the weekend together even more, “Heritage Homes” includes a segment on the Chatillon-DeMenil House.)

Landmarks Association will be giving away copies of the 1976 publication Street Front Heritage, which offers an architectural history of Hyde Park with vintage black and white photographs. (Contemporary recreations of these photographs will also be on display!)

Please join us:

19th & Newhouse Avenues
2:00 – 4:00 PM
Saturday, May 19

Driving directions: I-70 to Salisbury Avenue. North (right) on Blair Avenue to Newhouse. West (left) on Newhouse. Friedens Fellowship Hall is on the left at the end of the first block, and the church is across 19th Street.

Call Brian Marston at 238-4339 or Michael Allen at 920-5680.

Central West End Demolition Historic Preservation Hyde Park North St. Louis Preservation Board

Plenty of Demolition Permits on Monday’s Preservation Board Agenda (Updated)

UPDATED: The Preservation Board of the City of St. Louis has published the final agenda for its meeting on Monday.

Among the controversial items are the following appeals of staff denials:

– Demolition permit for a house at 4320 Arco Avenue in the Forest Park Southeast Historic District

– Demolition of houses at 1120, 1124 and 1400 Newhouse in the Hyde Park Historic District

– Demolition of the Blairmont-owned building at 1629 N. 19th Street in the Clemens House/Columbia Brewery National Register District

– Replacement of the historic windows of the house at 59 Kingsbury Place in the Central West End Historic District (the owner has replaced — without a permit — the windows on the Colonial Revival home with Prairie School style windows)

The meeting takes place Monday, May 21, at 4:00 p.m. in the 12th floor conference room at 1015 Locust Street.

Hyde Park North St. Louis

Good Work in Hyde Park

by Michael R. Allen

There is a brand new force for good in Hyde Park! The Friedens Neighborhood Foundation is on a roll with an uplifting message of community empowerment, education and rebuilding one of the city’s most needlessly distressed neighborhoods. Based at the historic Friedens United Church of Christ at 19th and Newhouse, the organization is working rehabbing historic church-owned buildings and launching the first northside YouthBuild Academy. The YouthBuild schools provide construction education to teens who have dropped out of high school, and provide students both a G.E.D. equivalent and exposure to the work needed to revitalize their own neighborhoods. What could be a better match than the new academy and the Hyde Park neighborhood, one of the city’s most endangered architectural assets?

Please peruse the Friedens Neighborhood Foundation website and consider making a donation of time, talent or treasure to one of the most inspiring neighborhood organizations in the city. The foundation truly is confronting the social causes and physical symptoms of neighborhood decline. We can’t let them fail.

Brecht Butcher Buildings Fire Hyde Park North St. Louis Old North Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta on the Move

by Michael R. Allen

According to a neighbor, a missing piece of the terra cotta cornice of the Brecht Butcher Supply Company buildings now resides in front of the firehouse at the northwest corner of Blair and Salisbury in Hyde Park. The buildings burned last Friday.

Hyde Park LRA Preservation Board

Callow Urges Urbanists to Buy Houses on Blair

by Michael R. Allen

Preservation Board Chairman Richard Callow made an interesting post to Urban St. Louis yesterday. The post, entitled “Why Not?”, urged readers to consider purchasing one of the two LRA-owned houses on the 3900 block of Blair Avenue in Hyde Park whose demolitions were denied by the Board on Monday.

Writes Callow: “Drive by 3961, in particular. Wouldn’t it be more interesting living there than in a former warehouse with something called Shoppes in the ground floor?”

While it takes more than a forum post to sell an LRA building, at least Callow is trying.

Some readers may recall that Mayor Slay seemed appreciative of two frame houses on 19th Street in Hyde Park also threatened with demolition last year. Hmmm.