Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North People South St. Louis

Marti Frumhoff Memorial Garden, Mullanphy Emigrant Home Efforts Moving Forward

by Michael R. Allen

Christian Herman announces a new blog covering fundraisers for the Marti Frumhoff Memorial Garden, including the fun event held at Tin Can Tavern this past Saturday.

Meanwhile, some work has begun on the effort to rebuild the Mullanphy Emigrant Home. E.M. Harris Construction Company has performed stabilization and debris removal needed to prepare for reconstruction of the south foundation wall. The New Old North blog posted photos of work back on July 17. More work has taken place since then, and foundation work could start any day now. Look for further updates there and here.

Events Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Benefit Show Wednesday at Christ Church Cathedral

The next big event where you can show your support for the effort to preserve and stabilize the Mullanphy Emigrant Home is this Wednesday:

Mullanphy Benefit Concert

Featuring Lydia Ruffin and the Flying Mules

Wednesday, May 16
7:30 PM (Doors at 7:00 PM)
Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust Street
$25 at the door; $20 in advance (call 231-5031)

Historic Preservation Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Emigrant Home Effort Unveils Website

The Historic Mullanphy Alliance today unveiled its new website with background in the buidling, information for making donations and updates on the work of the Alliance. The next time someone asks you what happened or why this is important, you can refer them to this wonderfully-designed compendium. (The designer of the site is Old North web whiz Nate Sprehe.)

One of the best features of the site is the graphic used here that shows the progress made in fundraising. Through the site, one can get not only the message but proof that progress is being made.

Here’s the address for the site:

(Image above from

Events Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Effort Hits the Royale on Thursday

The Historic Mullanphy Alliance raised over $12,000 at its fundraiser on Saturday at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Keep the momentum going — here’s your next chance:

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith, Claire Nowak-Boyd and Michael Allen and the Historic Mullanphy Alliance

invite you to the MULLANPHY SALOON

to benefit the effort to rebuild the historic Mullanphy Emigrant Home and for informal conversation on urban issues

featuring music by DJ Akita San

Thursday, April 197:00 – 9:00 PM
The Royale, 3132 S. Kingshighway


The Historic Mullanphy Alliance will be collecting donations toward stabilization of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home, and the Royale is graciouslydonating $1 from every purchase of a Schlafly product to the effort. Cometogether with fellow citizens to help an important effort and for informaldiscussion on architecture, history, politics and anything else on your mind.


The historic Mullanphy Emigrant Home in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood endured more storm damage on March 31. The building wasbuilt in 1867 as a home for newly-arrived immigrants who settled in St.Louis and points westward. The building is an important part of ourcity’s immigrant heritage, and architecturally-significant landmark and an important part of the future of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood. Thebuilding is owned by the nonprofit Old North St. Louis Restoration Group,which is trying to raise funds needed to repair the storm damage.

More information is online at

If you can’t attend, send a donation of any amount to:
Mullanphy c/o
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
2800 N. 14th StreetSt. Louis, MO 63107

If you have questions, contact Michael Allen at 314-920-5680.

Historic Preservation Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North People

Creating a Preservation Fund

by Michael R. Allen

In a post entitled “A Dedicated Fund For Historic Preservation In STL?” at STL Rising, Rick Bonsach raises the point that St. Louis lacks a dedicated emergency historic preservation fund. The existence of such a fund would have aided Old North St. Louis with stabilizing the storm-damaged Mullanphy Emigrant Home (pictured above in the “better” days of December 2006).

Bonasch suggests that the topic be discussed among those who attend tonight’s fundraiser for the Mullanphy (at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood from 5-7:30 p.m.; details here).

The discussion should continue past tonight. With rising interest in historic preservation in north side neighborhoods hampered by strong weather, arson and metal thieves, such a fund could establish a sustainable effort to ensure that some funds are available for emergency stabilization. Such a fund could empower neighborhoods who might otherwise consider demolition as the only practical option. Many neighborhoods on the north side are far from having strong markets for historic buildings, but with assistance will undoubtedly reach that point.

The first response to Bonasch in his comments section is dismissive and seems to presuppose government footing the bill for the fund. Bonasch replies that he envisions the private sector administering the fund. After all, the Mullanphy effort has yet to collect a dollar of city money — and probably will not. The momentum is building regardless.

(Some have joked that instead of a preservation fund what is most urgently needed is an advocacy group against our new forms of severe weather.)

Bonasch’s post raises interesting questions:

Does St. Louis have the energy and vision to continue working for emergency stabilization efforts after the Mullanphy is rebuilt?

Can we sustain the effort foe years to come?

Can we successfully collect money for the effort in the absence of a targeted project like the Mullanphy?

Are there existing organizations or people who may have established a suitable foundation for such work?

Should city government be involved?

Would St. Louisans be willing to have any tax money go into the creation of such a fund?

Are their existing municipal funds that could be used for stabilization instead of demolition?

Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Media Recognizing Mullanphy Effort

Yesterday, KMOV Channel 4 ran a lengthy segment on its 6:00 p.m. news report. Watch it here: Group hopes to restore historic building, revive declining neighborhood.

In the last week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has published both a news story and a commentary:

Efforts to save 1867 building are dealt extra blow by recent storm – Tim O’Neil (April 9)

Mullanphy Emigrant Home welcomed and helped our ancestors – Sean Thomas (April 10)

Mullanphy Emigrant Home Old North

Historic Mullanphy Alliance Forging Ahead

by Michael R. Allen

Since the Mullanphy Emigrant Home in Old North St. Louis endured further storm damage Saturday, its supporters in the Historic Mullanphy Alliance have intensified their fund raising and awareness drive.

Despite overwhelming difficulties and the lack of a model for dealing with emergency building stabilization, the alliance is not shying away from the daunting task of securing an estimated $350,000 for stabilization.

The Alliance announced today an emergency fundraiser next Saturday, April 14, at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. (Details at the new site.)

Also in the works are a fundraiser at the Royale on April 19 and a benefit concert at Christ Church Cathedral sponsored by Landmarks Association of St. Louis on May 16.

Yesterday, KWMU radio’s Matt Sepic noted the damage and fundraising effort in a story summarized online.

The Historic Mullanphy Alliance is chaired by Old North residents John Burse and Claire Nowak-Boyd.

Mullanphy Emigrant Home Old North Severe Weather

Mullanphy Emigrant Home Hit Again

by Michael R. Allen

The Mullanphy Emigrant Home in Old North St. Louis sustained more damage during today’s severe storm and accompanying gust. The biggest damage fell on the south section of the primary (east) elevation, adjacent to the south elevation that collapsed last year; that section collapsed from roof to foundation. (See photograph above.) The north elevation also partly collapsed. (See photograph below.)

The collapse of the east elevation is most damaging because the building’s joists run perpendicular and are tied into the wall. Without temporary bracing between floors recently, the joists would have had no support and would have failed completely.

Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Effort Accepting Online Contributions

The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has launched a PayPal account through which donations for the effort to rebuild the Mullanphy Emigrant Home‘s collapsed southern wall.

While some temporary structural stabilization work has been completed, the effort is still over $100,000 away from reaching the money needed to rebuild the masonry wall.

We are a generous city with much wealth and love for our history. Can we not rebuild that wall? It seems like a reasonable goal with no ambiguity — every dollar collected will literally go to the needed bricks, mortar and labor.

The result will be that a neighborhood in the midst of renewal will retain one of its most significant buildings as an anchor for continued development.

Tax-deductible contributions now can be made here.

(PS: For candidates seeking to do good with leftover campaign funds, this is a great cause.)

Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Effort Moving Forward

What are some people doing to help raise money for stabilizing the damaged Mullanphy Emigrant Home?

Mayor Francis Slay is lending his support.

Rick Bonasch is selling furniture to raise donation money.

Claire and I have raised donation collections twice — once at a meeting and again at Claire’s birthday party.

Some people are talking about benefit shows, dinners and other fundraiser events.

But all anyone really has to do is send a tax-deductible contribution:

Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
2800 N. 14th Street
St. Louis, MO 63107

For more information, contact the ONSLRG office by phone at 314-241-5031 or via email at: