Forest Park Southeast Historic Preservation Preservation Board

Massive Demolition Coming to Forest Park Southeast

by Michael R. Allen

The agenda for the Preservation Board meeting on Monday, April 24 shows an application for demolition permits for 30 buildings in Forest Park Southeast. These buildings are owned by Forest West Properties, which is tied to Washington University. Apparently the demolition is related to an infill housing project.

A quick memory scan and drive-by shows that at least ten of the buildings are of high local architectural merit and are structurally sound. I was surprised at how many of these buildings are masonry and how many are two-story buildings. I’m sure that the infill housing developer and their friends in city government will be talking “density” even though they will be replacing four unit buildings with single-family homes. Some of the wood-frame buildings on the list are of questionable architectural merit and are quite dilapidated, but probably 10-15 of these buildings are clearly worth preserving.

We will be developing a site section with photos and short evaluations; in the meantime, we managed to find photos of three of the buildings in our collection:
4371 Hunt Avenue; 4484 and 4486-90 Vista Avenue.