by Michael R. Allen
MORSE SHOE FACTORY UNDER DEMOLITION
Workers have begun removing the terra cotta ornament from the O. Morse Shoe Company Building at Duncan and Boyle. Apparently, some of the ornament will be “reused” in construction of the building that will replace the venerable shoe factory building: the sleekly boring, sub-urban headquarters building for Solae. Whether or not such reuse is appropriate remains to be seen.
FOREST PARK SOUTHEAST DEMOLITION SPREE NEARLY DONE
Meanwhile, the clearance of 22 buildings in Forest Park Southeast is nearly complete. The demolitions at the north end of the neighborhood on Chouteau and Donovan avenues has created a large open space that is extremely jarring. Hopefully redevelopment will be swift. To the west, the Laclede Gas Pumping Station G will lose its landmark gasometer but retain its delightful Classical Revival pump house (built in 1910). West of there, the Freund Bread Company site has been cleared since last year, awaiting new buildings that are part of the Pumping Station project.
Overall, though, the neighborhood is looking better than ever. The transformation of Manchester Avenue within the last year has reversed the decay of many historic buildings and led to the openings of several new businesses.
BRECHT BUTCHER SUPPLY COMPANY BUILDINGS HOLDING ON
On October 10, the Building Division issued an emergency condemnation for the Brecht Butcher Supply Company Buildings. However, demolition is up to the Blairmont Associates LC of O’Fallon, Missouri, owners of the complex. So far, there is no demolition application at City Hall.