James Clemens House North St. Louis Northside Regeneration St. Louis Place

James Clemens, Jr. House: Stabilization?

by Michael R. Allen

On February 10, 2006, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Lisa Van Amburg approval a motion to dismiss, without prejudice, the case of The City of St. Louis Building Division vs. Blairmont Associates LC. This case concerns Blairmont’s inability to stabilize and repair the Clemens House property, which it purchased in 2004. The reason for dismissal is that the City Counselor’s office was successful in getting Blairmont to agree to sell the house within 90 days; if the effort is unsuccessful the city may refile its suit.

While the dismissal stems more from the agreement than Blairmont’s bringing the buildings’ conditions in line with the demands of the Building Division, before the dismissal Blairmont made an attempt to stabilize the porch and cast iron on the main house. This effort was limited to removal of iron, draping of tarps and placement of temporary fencing around the porch. The massive holes in the chapel’s roof remain uncovered, and no masonry stabilization seems to have been performed.

These photographs — from February 18 — show the current state of the Clemens House.

Blairmont seems very committed to the sale, since they are trying to prevent their real identities from being revealed. What they are hiding is not known; we only know that they have done little to safeguard the cultural heritage that is in their legal possession.