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Historic Preservation North St. Louis Old North

Six Months is Easy, Ten Years is Hard

by Michael R. Allen

Here is the sanctuary of the Fourth Baptist Church at 13th and Sullivan in Old North St. Louis after the devastating fire on September 20 (see “Beautiful Fourth Baptist Church,” September 24). As we come upon winter, the condition of the destabilized complex is heavy on my mind. Will the church make it to spring? Of course; gravity is a slow process, and this building will resist its pull. Will it still stand ten years hence? I have no idea. The old church can stand another six months if its fate is left to chance. Chance, however, is no guarantor of a future; after all, chance brought the flames that engulfed the sanctuary less than two months ago. A ten-year plan will take planning, and action. The church can win its war with gravity, but not by itself.

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