by Michael R. Allen
Missouri Preservation, formerly the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation, announced its 2006 Most Endangered Historic Places list at a press conference in Fulton last Saturday.
Among the thirteen places are the storm-damaged Nord St. Louis Turnverein and the Mullanphy Emigrant Home on the near north side of St. Louis. Another St. Louis-area building made the list: the Mark Sappington House in Crestwood, built in 1840 and threatened with demolition for a strip mall.
The list may draw greater attention statewide to the plight of these buildings. Across the state, St. Louis has a strong reputation as a leader in historic rehabilitation efforts, so people may take our forward movement for granted. The truth is that the city’s north side continues to lose buildings at an alarming rate with no end in sight. Hopefully the inclusion of the near north side buildings will show people that great architecture requires political and economic maintenance, even (especially?) in a city on the rebound from decline.
Thanks go to Karen Bode Baxter for nominating the Turnverein and the Emigrant Home at the last minute.