by Michael R. Allen
Tomorrow the St. Louis Preservation Board will consider the demolition of four houses on Arco Avenue, located at 4217, 4221, 4223 and 4225 Arco Avenue. The owner and applicant is Restoration St. Louis, a company whose commitment to historic preservation is strong and well-known. The Cultural Resources Office recommends that the Preservation Board allow demolition of the damaged houses at 4223 and 4225 Arco but deny demolition of the other two, which despite decay are sound.
All are contributing resources to the Forest Park Southeast Historic District, which is why their demolition can go before the Preservation Board. I made the following video of the current condition:
Alex Ihnen posted an article on these houses on urbanSTL, and in an update stated that he feels they are “goners.” The Forest Park Southeast neighborhood association has endorsed demolition of all of the houses. Yet the Cultural Resources Office’s professional staff thinks that the eastern two are not, which is a reasonable assertion. Tomorrow’s Preservation Board meeting — held at 4:00 p.m. in the 12th floor conference room at 1015 Locust Street — should be interesting.
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