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Brick Theft Demolition North St. Louis Northside Regeneration St. Louis Place

Cut Off

by Michael R. Allen

Shown here is the house at 2569 Montgomery Street in St. Louis Place before its demise at the hands of brick thieves earlier this year. When I took this photograph in February, thieves had already taken down much of the western wall of the house, causing interior collapses. Not long after I took this photograph, a brick wall collapsed on some thieves working on this house and, in the ensuing attempt to dig out one of the wreckers, police arrived on the scene to ticket the “crew” with trespassing. At least, that’s the word on the street — court records don’t turn up anything.

The false-mansard-faced two-story house was built in 1888, long before Parnell Avenue to its east was widened out of proportion with demands. This house stood on a block orphaned between the needless expanse of Parnell — a formidable pedestrian boundary — and the expansion of industries to the west that involved major street closures. The life-flow of cities and blood alike is circulation. Any part cut off from circulation eventually dies. This house ended up in the possession of Blairmont Associates in 2005. No surprise that the owners of the house next door sold to Blairmont sister company Sheridan Place in 2006.

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