by Michael R. Allen
Toby Weiss has already posted an excellent recap of last night’s Anti-Wrecking Ball, but here’s another. In short, we raised more money than we thought that we could, had more people attend than we expected and had a lot more dancing than usually seen at preservation fundraisers!
Video by Toby Weiss.
Dozens of people came to Old North St. Louis to support the cause of citizen preservation action and to enjoy a party inside of the spacious, lovely new Old North St. Louis Community Gallery. The venue was perfect, and not simply spatially. While the event’s focus was raising money for the Friends of the San Luis‘ appeal of a circuit court ruling against citizen standing in preservation battles, it was also a celebration of all that we can do together. The gallery is smack dab in the middle of the revitalized 14th Street commercial district, until recently a horrid pedestrian mall. The rebirth of the mall and Old North have come through the dedication of scores of people working against tough odds. Citizens, acting on the belief that we can make our neighborhoods better places and save our irreplaceable landmarks.
The attendance was a great example of the wide support for preservation. There were north side residents, young urbanists, veteran preservationists, architects, artists, anti-eminent domain activists, and even a Preservation Board member. Up the street at the Urban Studio Cafe there was an art opening, and crowds migrated back and forth throughout the evening.
DJ Darren Snow kept a wonderful flow of music going. Emily Beck created a powerful slide show that weaved together the past year of Friends of the San Luis events, architectural images and photographs of people across the city celebrating the historic architecture of our neighborhoods. The Chase Park Plaza Cinemas, STL Style and Toby and I provided raffle items. Volunteers too numerous to mention pitched in, and the party went well past the advertised midnight close. Bravo!