by Michael R. Allen
Bad news from the metro east: The R.S. Holstein Company Dry Goods Building is downtown Granite City has fallen to the wrecking ball. Here we see the illogical results of reactionary planning. The building was in fine physical condition and was one of the most likely candidates for adaptive reuse downtown. However, the particular circumstances of its ownership and its being placed on a condemnation list foreclosed any chance of its future being considered as part of a broader strategy for historic preservation in the downtown area of Granite City (which still retains an impressive architectural stock). Granite City is working on a preservation plan, but to date has not enacted any effective ordinances that would render any preservation plan meaningful.
Then again, until Illinois passes legislation creating a Missouri-style historic rehabilitation tax credit, adaptive reuse of such buildings is highly unlikely.