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Historic Preservation Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Emigrant Home Stabilized for Winter

by Michael R. Allen

The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group recent appropriated funds to complete the enclosure of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home at 1609 N. 14th Street. Although the work did not include further masonry work, the scope resulted in a total air- and weather-tight condition for the building. The Emigrant Home has not been sealed up since the first damaging storm struck it in April 2006.

Workers from E.M. Harris Construction Company boarded all of the building’s window openings, covered the gap between the new south wall and the existing roof, sealed the opening at the top corner of the south wall and sealed the giant hole on the north wall. Since funds for masonry work on the north wall don’t exist yet, a more modest plan was needed. E.M. Harris essentially boarded up the whole opening with framing, plywood and Tyvek wrap. This work included construction of watersheds over existing sections of the north wall, keeping them dry.

Now the Mullanphy Emigrant Home is fully sealed before winter — what a relief! In the current state, the building is stable as it awaits further repairs. Old North has demonstrated that a big building can be sealed up long before funds for major masonry repair are available. Obviously, the materials used are not as sturdy as actual brick and block, but they will ensure the building’s survival. Such stabilization could be implemented on other endangered buildings, including the James Clemens, Jr. House, Carr School and the Fourth Baptist Church.

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