Monday, December 28, 2009

Looking Back at the Page Boulevard Police Station

The Page Boulevard Police Station in 1947.  Photo from the
St. Louis Police Veterans Association historic photo website.

With the recently begun demolition of the mixed use building at the southeast corner of Page and Union Boulevards, the last building that defined this intersection, I decided to reach into my archives from the 1990's for a look at a landmark just across the street that was lost over a decade ago.


When originally proposed in 1907, the The Twelfth District Police Station met with objections from residents of the City's fashionable West End who did not want to see a building with bars built in their neighborhood.  To satisfy the residents concerns St. Louis Building Commissioner designed a three story colonial revival structure with a gambrel roof which made the building look more like a mansion than a police station.  The building included a gymnasium on the 3rd floor and an attached stable for the mounted patrols.


The building was used until 1963 when stations were consolidated, but re-opened in 1966 at the request of residents.  In 1973 however the district headquarters was relocated into a smaller building on Enright several blocks to the south and the old station became vacant.  The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.


On the night of July 5th, 1993 a six alarm fire suspected to have been started by errant bottle rockets caused extensive damage to the building, with the cupola collapsing down to the second floor.  although there was no damage to the masonry shell of the building, and much of the roof remained intact, the building was considered a "total loss"


For several years prior to the fire the building had been proposed for re-use as an African American Cultural Center, a project that almost two decades later unfortunately has yet to come to fruition.  The most recent proposal for this project includes renovation of an old church building with a large addition across from the Pageant Theater on Delmar.

The building was demolished in January 1997 and the cleared site was converted to Marie Fowler Park.  Strangely in the pre-fire photo above it appears that there may have been a park on the southwest corner of the intersection.  Bartmer at one time came all the way to the intersection of Page & Union, but was cut off and cul-de-saced.  I am not sure if the green space created was actually designated a park.  Today this corner is occupied by an anti-urban Walgreens with the parking lot on the corner, so it would appear that the city traded a park for a Walgreens and a landmark building for a park.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Washington Avenue with Holiday Decorations

Following up on my previous post about pre St. Louis Centre retailing is another view of 6th & Washington looking west in the mid 1960's from the Pyramid archives.  As one of the epicenters of retail for Downtown St. Louis the intersection is fully decked out for the holiday shopping season including tinsel covered bell towers at the four corners.  Stix Baer & Fuller is at right on the north side of the street.  Further west can be seen the sign for Loew's State Theater, whose Washington Avenue lobby survived until the early 1990's when the convention center was expanded.

All of the buildings on the south side of the street west to the Statler Hotel (now restored as part of the Renaissance Grand) have been demolished.  In their place are the now vacant St. Louis Centre, the US Bank tower and parking garage and the new portion of the Renaissance Grand.  At the southwest corner of the intersection two older buildings have received a modern slip cover with continuous storefront windows for a large shoe store.  Beyond was Richman's, which was one of many smaller independent department stores that existed at the time.  Happy Holidays everyone! 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Baffled by Latest News From Detroit: 14 Schools to be Demolished!

Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan - built in 1922
photo from a web page published by the class of 1939

Whenever we might be feeling down about our City and the erosion of it's built environment, It seems like Detroit does something that makes St. Louis seem like a progressive place to be.

This week Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation reported that Detroit Public Schools will spend $33 million to demolish 14 historic vacant school buildings.  Included in the proposal is demolition of the massive Cass Technical High School which will cost $6 million to demolish.  What makes this story really insane is when you realize that Detroit Public Schools abandoned the old Cass Tech and spent $93,000,000 to build a brand new 404,000 s.f. school right next door to the original building!

$33,000,000 would likely be enough to completely renovate at least 2-3 of the doomed buildings, and if combined with Federal Historic Tax Credits, private equity and other potential incentives or tax credits, could bring new uses and restoration to many more.  Spending that much to only end up with nothing is a mind boggling waste of public money.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cabanne Demolitions Pulled from Preservation Board Agenda

The final agenda for Monday's Preservation Board meeting was put online today, and the proposed demolitions of 5305-07 and 5309 Cabanne have been removed from consideration.  In recent months there has been what seems to be a reoccurring pattern of demolition proposals showing up on the initial agenda posted by the Cultural Resources Office (usually about 2 weeks out from the meeting) only to be pulled when the final agenda appears online, which usually occurs the Friday prior to the meeting.  While pulling demolition proposals almost always come as a relief to me, I have been wondering why this is occurring?  Is it just a fluke that this has happened several months in a row now, or is it something else?  Are applicants realizing that they might face a fire storm of protest when they see their proposals show up on sites like this?  I am not convinced of this, but one can dream.

On the flip side, a completely asinine proposal to demolish a former St. Louis Carnival Supply building, a modified but still quite intact corner building, for expansion of an adjacent strip mall parking lot is still on the agenda for Monday.  Please read more about this at Ecology of Absence.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Preservation Board to Consider Cabanne Demolition a Second Time

Next Monday the St. Louis Preservation Board will consider the demolition of 5309 Cabanne for the second time in three years.  In August 2006 the Preservation Board turned town a request by Greg Vatterott to demolish the three story 2,800 s.f. single family home built in 1902.  As the detailed agenda from that meeting shows, the house has suffered some partial collapse of the rear masonry wall.  However, the rest of the home remains in relatively good shape.  In 2006, the Board felt that the minor damage at he rear wall did not warrant demolition.  Let's hope they come to the same conclusion next Monday.

The applicant this time is Tap In Properties, LLC, a Leesburg, Virgina company that provides "Janitorial and Post-Construction Cleaning for the Washington, Maryland and Virginia area", which acquired the home in August 2007.  "We are locally owned and operated so you can be assured you will receive quality dependable and honest service every time", states their website.  So what business do they have in tearing down historic homes in St. Louis, Missouri!??  

The same applicant has also applied to demolish a neighboring two-family townhouse building at 5305-07 Cabanne.  Unlike 5309, this building shows no signs of deterioration from the exterior.  The faded sign in the front lawn that has been up for some time reads "Coming Spring of 2008: 3-Bedroom Townhouse Units"  When I first saw the sign, I assumed that a renovation was going to occur.  The buildings are located in the Visitation Park Historic District, and are therefore eligible for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.  I'm tempted to call the number and ask when the renovated units will be ready.  A matching building at 5301-03 is occupied.  The detailed agenda for the upcoming meeting has yet to be posted, so there is no information as to the details of the proposal, if any for use of the site.

5307-07 Cabanne and its well-kept neighboring twin at 5301-03

Also on Monday's agenda is a proposal to demolish a 3 story corner building at 3924 S. Broadway.  As always, I encourage readers to attend the Preservation Board meeting on Monday, December 21st at 4:00 PM at 1015 Locust Street, Suite 1200 and testify to the Preservation Board their concerns or send your comments in before the meeting. Comments should be sent to:

St. Louis Preservation Board c/o
Adonna Buford, Secretary
1015 Locust Street, Suite 1100
St. Louis, MO 63101

Or email: BufordA@stlouiscity.com

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What will be the next threatened landmark?

Will it be the former Shriners Hospital Building (above)?  Will it be the Sun Theater?  Will it be Mann Elementary School?  Will you have a right to say anything about it?

Please join the Friends of the San Luis Friday night for the Anti-Wrecking Ball Holiday Kegger.  The Friends of the San Luis are presently appealing a ruling by Circuit Court Judge Dierker that stripped the right of citizens to appeal a Preservation Board ruling on the basis that they do not have legal standing to question any Preservation board action.  Come check out Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's newly renovated Community Gallery (one block south of Crown Candy), have some beer and support your right to fight for historic preservation in St. Louis.  All proceeds will go to the court ruling appeal fund.


Monday, December 7, 2009

A Cause For Celebration?

St. Louis or Berlin?  Construction of Interstate 70 in 1964.

Yesterday and today were days of celebration for many St. Louisans as re-construction of Highway 40 (Interstate 64) came to a close and the highway re-opened to uninterrupted traffic from 270 to Kingshighway for the first time in almost two years.  

I couldn't help but think: Is the opening of a new highway really cause for celebration?  Since their inception in the late 1930's, highways have reeked havoc on cities, requiring mass demolitions, dividing neighborhoods, ruining parks and more all in the name of getting from A to point B a little bit faster.
Construction of Interstate 70 (then also known as the Third Street Highway) cut off Downtown St. Louis from the Gateway Arch two years before its completion in 1966. To this day the highway remains a physical and psychological barrier as well as major source of noise pollution. Photos from UMSL's Western Historical Manuscript Collection.

A relatively intact streetscape with buildings and park cars.  This is Third Street in 1962, prior to the construction of the Interstate 70.  All building in this photo with the exception of the Peabody Building (at center with the corner entrance) were demolished to make way for the Mansion House complex.  Like Mansion House, most of the buildings in this row front Fourth street and turn their back to the Arch grounds and riverfront beyond.  Can you blame them?  Who would want their new building to front a noisy ugly highway?

Two years later in 1964, the interstate cuts a gash in the landscape cutting off everything from the yet to be completed Arch and grounds.  Beyond the Peabody Building the Bel Air Hotel can be seen in the distance.

City interrupted - the Interstate 44-55 interchange in the mid 60's.

Construction of Interstate 44 and 55 destroyed block after block of fully intact South Side neighborhoods.  Early plans for 44 even threatened Tower Grove Park by the highway's path.  While the south edge of Forest Park was given a lobotomy, this treatment of Tower Grove would have completely destroyed the narrow park and would have devastated the adjacent neighborhoods. 

Back to Highway 40, another casualty of the re-opening is transit demand. This morning as I got on the MetroLink train at Skinker to head Downtown I noticed that the crowd on the train was much lighter than normal.  I was not completely surprised by this.  There was a noticeable increase in Metro rider-ship last January when the east half of Highway 40 closed for the year, and since Metro made service cuts in March, it has been standing room only on the trains at least until the Central West End where many BJC workers exit.  Has everyone gotten back in their cars to take the new Highway 40? 

Maybe I am unusual, but when I made the decision several years ago to start riding Metro, it was one of the most liberating things I have ever experienced, leaving behind the traffic, dealing with other drivers on the road, parking garages, more frequent trips to the gas station and maintenance shops, etc. in exchange for some relaxing time to read a book.  You can call me crazy if you want, but I actually liked standing on the train when is was packed with people.  Somehow it made it feel like I was living in a real City.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Random Scenes along Euclid Avenue

Less than a block north of the Central West End MetroLink Station some work is being done in the pedestrian mall that replaced Euclid Avenue south of Parkview Place several years ago at the BJC-WU Medical Center.  Below the sidewalk pavement tracks form the long gone streetcar have been temporarily revealed.

At the northwest corner Forest Park Boulevard and Euclid, sewer and foundation work has begun on the new 12 story BJC clinic building that will replace the demolished Ettrick and another building to the north.

Farther north at 901 Euclid, is yet another example of a building that did not need to be demolished.  This corner storefront building was not at the intersection of two streets, but at the intersection of Euclid and the Hodiamont streetcar line, which ran in its own right-of-way that was not part of a street.  Located just two lots south of the homes that front Fountain Park, the building unfortunately was outside the boundary of the Aubert Place-Fountain Park Historic District. The surrounding area is part of the 18th Ward, which has been held back from Preservation Review by Alderman Terry Kennedy.

The photo above (from Geo St. Louis) tells the story of this building's demise.  Like so many similar buildings, the back wall suffered a partial collapse likely due to continual water damage from a missing gutter. The building was condemned by the City Building Division in September 2005 and demolished in June 2007.  The issue with this building is that the damage was reparable and since the floor and roof joists in these types of buildings almost always run side to side, the remaining structure was in no danger of collapse.  So as is typical in a case like this, the building is needlessly destroyed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Party for Preservation!


This awesome flyer compliments of Kara Clark Holland (original photo of the Arcade by Rob Powers of Built St. Louis).  It's like a dream come true: my favorite building with the worlds largest keg on the roof.  Here is some info form the Old North Restoration Group about their newly rehabbed space where the party will be held.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

St. Louis Centre - Part One: Life on the Streets of Downtown Before St. Louis Centre

Throngs of holiday shoppers fill the intersection of 7th & Washington in front of Stix Baer & Fuller.  60's era photo from the archives of the now defunct Pyramid Companies

With recent announcements about the latest "future" of St. Louis Centre, I am starting a series of posts about its history and impact on Downtown St. Louis.  First though, I think we should take a look back to what life was like before the Malling of Downtown.

It is hard to believe today that Downtown was once the center of retail life in St. Louis with three highrise department stores: Famous Barr, Stix Baer & Fuller and Scruggs Vandervoort Barney each with half a million square feet of floor space or more, and hundreds of street level retail stores in between.

Even while malls and suburban branches of the big three department stores rose in the 1950's and 60's, Downtown continued to attract shoppers and retained a thriving retail scene through the 1970's and even the early 1980's.

Shoppers and a Bi-State bus cross the intersection of 6th & Locust in the late 1970's or early 1980's.  The Woolworths occupied the corner that would become one of the main entrances to the St. Louis Centre mall.  Photo from Randy Vines of STL Style.

the intersection of 6th & Washington in 1959 looking south.  Kresge's occupied the southeast corner.  The gap between buildings next to the Lerner Shops is St. Charles Street, which at the time ran continuous through this part of Downtown.  This photo and all below are from the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at UMSL's Thomas Jefferson Library.

The intersection of 7th & Olive in the 1976 with Florsheim Shoe's at the northwest corner.

A mounted patrol officer take a break at the corner of 7th & Olive in front of Famous Barr in 1976.  Looking north on 7th Street, Stix Bear & Fuller can be seen in the distance. 

The intersection of 6th and Washington in 1976.  Stix Baer and Fuller built a special Bicentennial Candy Shop at the corner of their store.

Another view of 7th and Washington crowded with
shoppers in front of Stix Baer & Fuller

In this post-St. Louis Centre era, the streets of Downtown have once again become a destination for shopping with over 80 unique retail stores, restaurants and service businesses opening since 2000.  So this Black Friday stay in bed, skip the 3am big box madness sales and head Downtown for your holiday shopping fix.  Macy's Downtown store does open at 5am for you early birds, however most stores run normal hours. This year the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis has come up with an easy way to give with the Downtown St. Louis Gift Card, which can be used at over 100 Downtown retail stores and restaurants.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Detroit Continues to Squander its Potential

Attacked from the rear.  Demolition of the Lafayette Building begins.


Regular readers of this blog know that it is easy to get depressed about the state of things here in St. Louis.  Then sometimes I read about events occurring elsewhere and feel pretty good about our fair City.  Recently I had one of those moments when I read that demolition began this fall on the Lafayette Building in Detroit.  In June of this year, the Detroit Downtown Development Authority had voted unanimously to demolish the building.

Reading the history of the building it is easy to think about the similar plight of the Arcade building here in St. Louis, once threatened with demolition by a former owner, then slated for redevelopment as condos, an hotel and office space, construction started, then empty again and waiting.  The difference with the Arcade is the story's ending.  Just a few weeks ago the City's Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority authorized a 10 year tax abatement on the Arcade Building to entice future redevelopment.  Compared to the Arcade, the Lafayette would have been an easy rehab.  The Lafayette is half the size and has only been empty since 1997 compared to 1978 with the Arcade Building.

In Detroit however, the story ends with an unenlightened city government squandering yet another potential jewel in Downtown.  The same narrow narrow minds were responsible for the senseless destruction in 2006 of the former Detroit Statler in 2004-2005.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Old North and Southwest Demolitions Pulled from Preservation Board

The final agenda for today's Preservation Board meeting is finally online.  All three of the proposed demolitions of LRA owned buildings in Old North St. Louis have been removed from the agenda as well as he proposed demolition of two buildings on Southwest Avenue that are owned by Favazza's.

The only proposed demolition remaining on the agenda is a fire damaged house at 3959 N. 11th Street in Hyde Park.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Upon Destruction, Shoenberg Reveals Its Inherent Adaptability

Demolition of the Shoenberg Nurses Residence building at 4949 Forest Park Boulevard has revealed that the building was easily adaptable for new uses.  The building's exterior appearance, that of an old heavy brick masonry structure that would be difficult to transform for other uses couldn't be farther from the truth.  Beyond the skin deep brick was a solid concrete frame, not unlike that of the also recently demolished San Luis on Lindell Boulevard or that of more recently completed structures such as the 9 North Condominiums, the 4545 Lindell Condominiums, or even the new Centene tower rising in Clayton on the former site of site of Vandervoort's department store.

The technology of concrete frame construction surprisingly has changed very little over the years.  The concrete frame and slab structure allows for all interior partitions to be completely removed and re-configured for whatever use is desired.  This had already occurred at least once in the life of the Shoenberg building.  It had been constructed in 1934 as a dormitory structure to house nursing students from the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing nearby on Kingshighway.  Its original configuration was likely small rooms double loaded on each side of a central corridor.  More recently, the building housed medical clinics, which would have required some reconfiguration of the interior.  

The building could have again been re-configured for new use, but instead, seemingly because they had not use in mind, BJC is knocking down the building and planting some grass.  BJC could have simply mothballed the building until a new use was contemplated. Also with its flexible structural system, the building could have even been more than doubled  in size per floor with removal of the rear wall and an addition.  Eventually, something might be built there, as it is an excellent location with its easy access the adjacent parking structure, but for the foreseeable future the site will remain a pocket park less than 500 feet from one of the largest urban parks in North America.

A corner piece of the simple white glazed terra cotta cornice peeks out amid the rubble pile.

The Shoenberg building a few weeks ago as it was being prepared for destruction.

The wasted opportunities of this building and other recent demolitions such as the San Luis make me think of one of my favorite books: How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand.  One of the main premises of the book is that buildings built with a simple straight forward structure (such as that of a concrete frame) are inherently adaptable to meet the needs of the ever changing world around them.  This book should be required reading for all institutional boards of directors and all others that are in the position of decision making regarding construction, renovation, replacement or demolition of their buildings.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

November Preservation Board Full of Demolition Requests

3252 N. 19th: From "For Sale" to the chopping block, the LRA way.

This months Preservation Board agenda is crowded with demolition requests including three in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood's Murphy-Blair National Register Historic District. Curiously, all three have "For Sale" signs on them in the photos taken by the City, many of which are very recent.

The rear of 3252 N. 19th

This pair of townhouses at 1415-17 Dodier is literally right around the corner to the north from Crown Candy. Why this pair would be up for demolition is a mystery. Aerial views show no major breaches in the roofs. They appear quite sound from the front.

The rear is no worse, with none of the tell-tale signs of major deterioration. In fact, the lighter areas of mortar joints indicate that the wall has been tuck-pointed!


And less than a month ago. Not much change.

By far this appears to be the worst of the three buildings that LRA is requesting to demolish. The missing rear wall however is not insurmountable. Unfortunately missing or heavily damaged rear walls are not too uncommon in abandoned houses (with rear sloping flat roofs). Once the gutter disappears, water takes its toll and the rear wall rapidly deteriorates. Re-building the rear wall of a building like this is actually not as difficult as it might seem. While it is preferable to do this with masonry, where the budget for that is not available, a framed wall w/plywood and siding will do.

The rear of the building last month. Again, little change here, so why the rush to demolition?

The last potential demo on the agenda is 4106 Virginia, in Dutchtown. The 2-family home is located in the Gravois Jefferson Streetcar Suburb National Register Historic District.

A tale of two houses: 4106 Virginia on the right was inspected in July of 2009 with 7 violations. Now the City's Department of Public Safety wants a condemnation for demolition. Funny thing is that its neighbor, 4102 Virginia on the left according to the City's property data was in 2004 "Condemned for Occupancy; Can't Demolish". So what is it about 4106 that warrants demolition?

Both Ecology of Absence and Dotage St. Louis have coverage of another proposed demolition of two buildings on Southwest Avenue by Favazza's restaurant. The demolitions are likely wanted to add additional surface parking. The restaurant owns an existing parking lot west of the buildings.

As always, I encourage citizens who are concerned about the continual loss of our fair City's built environment to attend the Preservation Board meeting on Monday, November 23rd at 4:00 PM at 1015 Locust Street, Suite 1200 and testify or send your comments in before the meeting. Comments should be sent to:

St. Louis Preservation Board c/o
Adonna Buford, Secretary
1015 Locust Street, Suite 1100
St. Louis, MO 63101

Or email: BufordA@stlouiscity.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Clemens Mansion could FINALLY see Renovation


The Post Dispatch reported this morning that the Clemens mansion may finally get a desperately needed renovation.  Developer Paul McKee, who owns the mansion complex is teaming with Bob Wood for a $13 million renovation of the the buildings for senior housing and a museum.  They are even talking about saving the the chapel and turning it into part of the museum or a community space, possibly with Missouri History Museum as a partner.  McKee had previously been quoted as saying he though the chapel was unsalvageable.

View from the chapel balcony last year 

Unfortunately, construction will not begin until funding for the project is in place.  They development team has applied for Missouri Low Income Housing Tax Credits as part of the funding which would also include Federal and State of Missouri Historic Tax Credits.  The low income credits are awarded annually in February (applications were due last week).

Due to limited funding however, only a certain percentage of projects that apply each year get funding to move forward.  If the project is not awarded tax credits next February, the building could sit for another year waiting to get funding.  That would be very problematic due to the rapidly deteriorating condition of the building.  Now that the roof is wide open in two locations in the mansion, the floors which were already deteriorating have had large areas of collapse.  

One of two gaping holes in the mansion roof that has grown
considerably since this photo was taken last year.

The fact that someone has committed to restoration is great news though.  Anything can be re-built.  Its just a matter of asking yourself if you want to let it go for a few more years and spend more money re-building or do you stabilize the structure now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trading Streets for Density in the CWE

Buckingham Court, North Court and South Court in 1958. The buildings
on the Park East and Nine North sites were demolished many years ago.

Thursday evening I attended City Affair, a monthly discussion of urban affairs and quality of life issues in St. Louis City.  This month our program was a tour of the recently completed Nine North Condominiums by Opus Development followed by some discussion about urban infill.  

The Nine North site (outlined in orange) just prior to construction.

Over the past year I had watched the project come out of the ground occasionally walking or driving along Euclid.  Not until Thursday however did I realize the size of the footprint of the project.  I knew that Buckingham Court had been closed to Euclid and that the new building was being built halfway into the street.  Somehow I did not realize though that the small street called South Court that connected Buckingham to Laclede had also been closed and completely blocked by the new structure.

One of the few downsides of this development:
A large blank wall now blocks South Court off Laclede.

Generally blocking and closing streets is not a good urban planning.  Closing of streets forms super-blocks, reduces connectivity and creates isolation.  Jane Jacobs devoted an entire chapter in The Life and Death of Great American Cities to the need for small blocks and plentiful streets in a vibrant city. The City had previously closed South Court when they made improvements to the surface parking lot, so the Opus is not to be blamed for that.  While auto traffic has been eliminated along Buckingham from Euclid, a landscaped pedestrian path is still available.

The public garage entrance at what was Buckingham Court at Euclid.

The landscaped walkway that connects Euclid and Buckingham Court.

A fountain on the rear elevation of the Residences at Forest Park Hotel
 facing the walkway.  Compare this with the blank wall of the garage.

Despite the closure of streets, Nine North is a great development.  For St. Louis it is a fairly innovative mixed-use project that combined the construction of a public parking garage by the City's Treasurer with private development of a condominium building with ground floor retail on Euclid.  All of this on what had been a surface parking lot for many years.  The project adds residential density and hides the parking with retail and a short row of condos on the second floor.  The development contains a very nice roof terrace with pool on top of the garage.
The Euclid elevation of the Nine North Condominiums carries the massing of the Forest Park Hotel to the south with a contemporary look.  The well composed building is a refreshing change from the giant blank walls of the Park East Tower, also by Opus.  The storefronts are also nicely scaled to fit in with the streetscape of Euclid.

Although a bit more isolated now, Buckingham Court remains a quaint street of pre-war apartments and converted condominiums, truly an oasis in the big City.

Just a few blocks north is the Argyle Garage which includes retail along Euclid and the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library.  This development like Nine North eliminated a small street, Argyle Avenue, along with six 6-family apartment buildings.  I supported this project because of the added storefronts along Euclid which had been the sides of apartments, but adding a few floors of residential on top would have made this a much better development.  Unfortunately the project was conceived in 1999, a few years before condo-craze hit St. Louis.