Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Best of Building Blocks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Best of Building Blocks

Article excerpt

Highlights from our real estate and development blog: stltoday.com/buildingblocks

Buildings demolished without permits * An 1890s Queen Anne-style house and a gasoline station from the 1930s both at Enright Avenue and North Kingshighway in St. Louis are within a national historic district.

The house has been reduced to a pile of red bricks. Still standing but largely razed is the gasoline station.

Problem is, both demolitions were undertaken without the proper historic review by the city or issuance of city demolition permits.

So, now what? The Queen Anne house, at 5016 Enright, is rubble. A "stop work" order from the city's Building Division halted demolition of the gas station but the building, at 721 North Kingshighway, appears to be beyond salvaging.

The matter fell to the St. Louis Preservation Board, which voted to allow the demolitions to be completed. Jan Cameron, of the city's Cultural Resources Office, told board members that fire had recently damaged the vacant house, which had partly collapsed. The gas station, she added, perhaps should never have been part of the national historic district established in 2002.

Preservation Board members voted to let the buildings come down legally. But board member Mike Kileen questioned whether the city can do anything more than penalize the demolition contractor financially.

That's a matter for the Building Division, Cameron replied.

She said the contractor, who was not identified at the meeting, had applied for the demo permits but they were never issued. Cameron said the contractor had reported getting "verbal approval" for the demolitions.

The affected sites are within the Mount Cabanne Raymond Place Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The district's historical significance is that was home to a large Jewish population that settled around the B'Nai Amoona temple. The temple left the city in 1943, according to the Cultural Resources Office.

Replacing the old structures will be a Family Dollar store. The site's owner, Core Resources of Cincinnati, hopes to begin the store's construction in April. …

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