Forest Park Southeast

Update on 4202 Chouteau

by Michael R. Allen

Last week, I posted information from Marti Frumhoff about a condemned house at 4202 Chouteau in Forest Park Southeast. Here’s an update.

The Forest Park Southeast Development Corporation and Alderman Joe Roddy (D-17th) decided last year to pursue a nuisance case against the owner of the home, Andrew Yee, who had purchased it in 2003 for rehab only to leave it in a terrible state for over two years. Neighbors have been upset by the condition, so the alderman and the development corporation rightly got involved.

However, apparently somehow the nuisance case led to a condemnation suit seeking demolition, and on November 20 a circuit court judge ordered the building condemned and demolished. Also, the owner claims the alderman is using eminent domain to acquire the building; I have no knowledge of whether or not that’s the case but am not necessarily opposed given the property condition.

Residents of FPSE are concerned that the house, which is a contributing resource to the Forest Park Southeast Historic District and eligible for tax credits, may be demolished per the judge’s order.

Anyone who wants to step forward to rescue the house should immediately contact Irving Blue, Executive Director of the Forest Park Southeast Development Corporation, at 314-533-6704 and Alderman Roddy at 314-622-3287. While demolition may seem like a viable solution, I am sure they would not oppose a quality historic rehab. However, if a new owner can’t be found soon demolition may be inevitable.