by Michael R. Allen
Hyde Park continues to suffer from stagnation and loss. Look at these proposed demolition plans:
Shreves Engine Company plans to demolish nine houses for some inane “security wall” plan that Alderman Freeman Bosley supports.
The Phillips 66 gas station at Salisbury and Eleventh, owned by Nidal Othman, wants to tear down the Cordes Hardware buildings. Some may recall the days when Cordes was still open with an old-time charm on par with Marx Hardware down in Old North. (Bosley opposes this demolition, although he has offered no substantial aid to the owner or others trying to renovate destabilized buildings in this neighborhood.)
These projects seriously compromise the intact density of historic buildings in this neighborhood. They must stop.
There’s also a big stir about a development underway between Natural Bridge, Salisbury and West Florissant avenues on the western end of Hyde Park. Here, Bethlehem Lutheran Church has financed a development of new houses and apartments that has involved a liberal use of eminent domain. This development has some Hyde Park residents up in arms due to questionable offers made to affected property owners and the attack on poor homeowners the Church is accused of leading. Last night, a group of 25 neighborhood residents joined with the Citizens’ Coalition to Fight Eminent Domain and marched to Bosley’s home on Bremen Avenue to make their demands.