by Michael R. Allen
From left: 4225 Arco, 4223 Arco, 4221 Arco and 4217 Arco.
Yesterday, the Preservation Board voted unanimously to accept the Cultural Resources Office (CRO) staff recommendation to approve demolition of the one-story brick houses at 4223 and 4225 Arco Avenue and deny demolition of those at 4217 and 4221 Arco. CRO Preservation Administrator Jan Cameron testified that the structural failures of the side and rear walls of 4223 and 4225 Arco justified their demolition, but that the other houses are sound. Jim Morrison from Restoration St. Louis, the owner, argued for demolition of all four — a position endorsed by Alderman Joe Roddy (D-17th) and Park Central Development Corporation. Landmarks Association of St. Louis Assistant Director Andrew Weil stood against Restoration St. Louis’ proposal and spoke in favor of the CRO staff recommendation.
The group of houses is almost intact, save the sister house at 4219 Arco pushed to an early death without a building permit recently. All of the houses on this block are contributing resources to the Forest Park Southeast Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. According to the nomination, 4217, 4221 and 4223 are presumed to date to 1908 but 4225 dates to 1903. The nomination’s authors did not locate builders or architects for the houses.
4217 Arco Avenue, denied for demolition.
4221 Arco Avenue, denied for demolition.
4223 Arco Avenue, approved for demolition.
4225 Arco Avenue, approved for demolition.
St. Louis University High School Demolition Appeal Denied: The Preservation Board also unanimously denied St. Louis University High School’s appeal of a demolition permit denial for a four-family building located at 4942-44 Wise Avenue in the Kings Oak neighborhood.