Downtown Hamilton Heights Historic Preservation Midtown National Register O'Fallon SHPO St. Louis County The Ville

Eight St. Louis Area Sites Headed to National Register

by Michael R. Allen

At its quarterly meeting Friday in Joplin, the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation voted to approve the following St. Louis area nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and forward them to the Keeper of the National Register:

  • Holly Place Historic District (prepared by Carolyn Toft, Michael Allen and Tom Duda for Landmarks Association of St. Louis)
  • Plaza Square Apartments Historic District (Carolyn Toft and Michael Allen for Landmarks Association of St. Louis)
  • Glen Echo Historic District (Ruth Keenoy, Karen Bode Baxter, Timothy P. Maloney and Sara Bularzik)
  • Ramsey Accessories Manufacturing Company Building (Matthew S. Bivens for SCI Engineering)
  • Harrison School (Julie Wooldridge for Lafser and Associates)
  • Hempstead School (Julie Wooldridge for Lafser and Associates)
  • Olive & Locust Historic Business District (Julie Wooldridge for Lafser and Associates)
  • Wagoner Place Historic District (Kathleen E. Shea and Jan Cameron for the Cultural Resources Office, City of St. Louis)

All votes were unanimous, although the Plaza Square Apartments Historic District is being sent for substantive review due to its construction date within the past 50 years. Nominations forwarded by the Advisory Council are typically listed on the Register within 45 business days of approval.

Notable among the approved nominations are the Plaza Square Apartments district, a local milestone of midcentury urban renewal and modern architecture. Under national regulations, nominations of properties that have achieved significance with the past 50 years require a demonstration of exceptional significance. Such nominations are infrequent, but contribute to greater recognition of the architectural achievements of the middle of the twentieth century.

Detail of one of the Plaza Square Apartments buildings.

Also interesting was the deliberation over the Ramsey Accessories Manufacturing Corporation Building at 3693 Forest Park Boulevard in St. Louis city, a nomination that raised issues of integrity due to the yet-incomplete removal of the stucco and concrete slipcover added in 1969 that covers the three-story building,. built in 1923 with addition in 1934. Fortunately, Bivens unearthed a wealth of information on the Ramsey Corporation that manufactured the “Ramco” piston ring and showed that the primary elevation is largely intact underneath the slipcover. The McGowan Brothers have an option on the building and hope to restore its original appearance.

One nomination not approved was that of Big Boy’s Restaurant in Wright City. The Council tabled the nomination due to concerns about an underdeveloped statement of significance while generally finding the building eligible for listing. With some improvement, the nomination should be in good shape by the next quarterly meeting in August.

Demolition Historic Preservation North St. Louis The Ville

Sarah and Cottage

by Michael R. Allen

Been to the corner of Sarah and Cottage avenues in the Ville neighborhood of St. Louis before last week? If not, you have forever missed your chance to experience the intersection with the anchor of its southeast corner, a row of flats with a corner storefront. The row was typical of those built west of Grand during the early years of the twentieth century: two stories tall, walls of buff brick, Classical Revival in style and with pale terra cotta ornament, window sills and coping. This one was flat-roofed, like this row nearby on Martin Luther King Boulevard documented on Urban Review awhile ago during its demolition.

Alas, this row began falling last week and will be gone by Monday. Already, only the storefront end still stands; the rest of the row is only a pile of rubble falling into the pits of coursed rubble limestone foundations. When it’s all gone, this intersection will be a blank slate that likely will stay blank for awhile.

Hyde Park North St. Louis Preservation Board South St. Louis The Ville

Preservation Board Agenda Available

by Michael R. Allen

This morning, the St. Louis Preservation Board posted the agenda for today’s meeting. It’s fairly short, actually, and no item is very controversial. Yet who has time to read the whole agenda and the summaries before the meeting if it’s only posted in the morning?

Among the items are the proposed demolition of two city-owned vacant houses on Blair Avenue in Hyde Park, the demolition of a house in Dogtown owned by an investment company, permits for lackluster new houses in the Ville and some appeals related to renovation work in violation of local historic district ordinances.

Also this morning, Steve Patterson of Urban Review posted his thoughts on the Preservation Board: “The Preservation Board A Public Hearing Or Not?”

The Preservation Board meets at 4:00 p.m. on the 12th floor of the building at 1015 Locust Street in downtown St. Louis.