Sunday, February 15, 2009

Whats Next for North St. Louis?

Although we are in the middle of a recession and new home building has sunk to the lowest level in decades, a source that wishes to remain anonymous has been told that the elusive Paul McKee, the Godfather of "Blairmont" is poised to announce the long awaited plans for North St. Louis sometime this spring. Much of the plan would apparently involve new residential construction.

While the area is certainly in need of new investment, as always, the devil is in the details. Will there be mass demolitions of the hundreds of historic buildings that the Blairmont entities currently own to clear land for the new development like what occurred in the Garden District? Or will McKee look at what has worked in countless St. Louis neighborhoods including nearby Old North, a comprehensive plan of preservation, renovation, and infill that respects the existing urban fabric.

As Rob Powers with his
204 Daily Doses of Blairmont, and many others have has shown us for well over a year now, McKee has not been a great landlord nor a good steward of historic properties. While not all the Blairmont buildings should be saved, a majority of the ones that have miraculously survived the fires, brick rustling, window removals and general lack of any concern have historic value and are worthy of preservation.
2900 St. Louis Avenue, an abandoned 2,460 s.f. Victorian home built in 1889
awaits its fate. The home is just west of the demolished Pruitt corner building.
It is owned by Sheridan Place LC, a Blairmont shell company

This spring we will either be pleasantly surprised by details of the coming plan or forced to react once again to another threat to eradicate the built history of our City.


Chris said...

Just as long as they build a Super Wal-Mart.

Sol81 said...

While I no longer live in St. Louis, I remember driving down 70 from the Illinois side everyday for work and seeing areas of North STL fall from disrepair to blighted, with only Crown Candy seeming to be the last fort against the encroaching kudzu of slumdom. When I found out about Blairmont and its Illuminati sounding conspiracy, I was upset, and I don't even live in the neighborhood. I'll believe that McKee will make an announcement when I hear it. Till then, I'm not holding my breath.