Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Butterflies Are Free to Fly . . . but Eyebrows Raised over Plan to Put Them in Faust Park and Move Historic Buildings

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Butterflies Are Free to Fly . . . but Eyebrows Raised over Plan to Put Them in Faust Park and Move Historic Buildings

Article excerpt

St. Louis County Council Chairman George "Jerry" Corcoran opposes moving historic buildings in Faust Park to make way for a butterfly house.

The Park Conservancy would build and operate the facility. D. Lynn Seline, its executive director, said last week that the group has raised $1.1 million of the $5 million it hopes to collect for the project.

She said that she hoped the facility would open in the summer of 1996.

The project took a major step toward reality last Thursday when County Executive George "Buzz" Westfall asked the council to - allow him to negotiate a contract with the conservancy for the project.

Thursday also was the day that Corcoran, a Democrat from St. Ann, visited Faust Park and came away with concerns about moving the historic houses.

The structures are at the southeast corner of the park. County park officials have talked about moving the houses to the park's southwest corner - to create a historic village at the start of a path to the Bates House, a historic mansion in the park.

Robert Hall, director of parks and recreation, said his department would determine the exact location of the butterfly house and the historic buildings in about three weeks.

At a caucus of Democratic council members on Thursday, Corcoran said, "It would be a. . . shame that these old buildings would have to move. It was difficult to get them there, and volunteers put them up."

In an interview later, Corcoran elaborated his views. He said the buildings might fall apart if they move again.

The log cabins, for example, have broken cement between their logs that could fall out in another move.

"I don't have a problem with the butterfly house being in Faust Park," he said. Corcoran noted that Forest Park in St. Louis has a variety of uses - from golf courses to a zoo to picnic areas. County officials should be able to design a plan that would make all the activities in Faust Park compatible, he said.

Virginia Stith, the county park department's top preservation expert, does not expect a problem moving the historic houses. …

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