Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Demolition in Kosciusko

Earlier today, Matthew Mourning of Dotage St. Louis posted a thorough story about Kosciusko and the demise of one of the areas few remaining historic buildings located at Victor & Kosciusko Streets.  I photographed the building after it had been listed as a proposed demolition in the September 2009 Preservation Board preliminary agenda.  As Matthew mentioned, the building was mysteriously pulled from the agenda, but met its demise anyway without the chance for public comment.

The south elevation along Victor Street

Matthew pointed out that the sketch of the building from the 1875 Compton & Dry aerial view shows the building as two full stories with a sloped roof, not three.  A close comparison of the windows at the second and third floor shows that the upper level openings are slightly narrower than those below.  Also, the sills on the second floor appear to be limestone, and those on the third appear to be wood.  Both of these factor lead me to believe that the building was altered with a third floor addition to add space to the building.

The rear wing shows the cantilevered second floor gallery porch running the full length.  I suspect that the rear wing and the front portion were always one building, as this type of wing off the back was fairly common.  The construction of the porch is somewhat unusual though as is its relationship to Victor due to the angle of the intersection of the two streets.

This demolition leaves Kosciusko with one fewer of what has become an extreme rarity for the area.  A neighborhood which once had hundreds of such buildings is left with fewer than a dozen scattered on several sites.  Unfortunately the landscape below just to the west at Victor & Second Streets has become the more common scene for Kosciusko and is now mirrored at the east end of the block where the building above stood until recently.


Matt M. said...

Sad, isn't it? I was pretty excited to find the building on the 1875 Compton and Dry and even more excited to see that long central window. This old hulk was built prior to 1875! Now it's dust. Kosciusko should be a museum to failed planning, but so few people ever traverse its private network of streets that rob the city from its river that no one seems to notice.

Thanks for the linkage.

rwhendrix said...

It is sad and it happens all over. In a small way, at least by photgraphing it you have preserved its memory. I liked the strange back porch too.