Collapse Fire Historic Preservation South St. Louis

Unknown Buyer of Pevely Dairy Complex May Back Off

by Michael R. Allen

The Post-Dispatch reports that the pending Pevely Dairy complex sale may stall after the spectacular loss on Sunday of one of the largest buildings on the site to a fire. The fire destroyed one of the two nearly identical production buildings. The lost building dated to 1943 and copied the original 1917 building design by architect Leonard Hager.

A big question since the St. Louis Business Journal first reported news of the contract on the complex is who is the prospective buyer (logical buyer St. Louis University has been rumored to be the shadow party). Scratch that — the bigger question since the abrupt closure of the complex by Prairie Farms in October was whether there would be a buyer in the near future. The speed of a sales contract on a formidable development project amid a general recession was, until Sunday, a relief to those who would like to see the landmark buildings revitalized. Hopefully the deal is still on, because what is left is still eligible for National Register of Historic Places listing and ripe for redevelopment.

At any rate the size of the project suddenly has changed.