Last week I learned that what remains of the Winkelmann House at 1930 St. Louis Avenue is being demolished. According to the City's property database, a demolition permit was applied for on June 22nd. Demolition of the remains of the one story west wing, added when the home was converted to a funeral parlor, has mostly been completed, leaving only the beautiful circa 1873 stone facade of the original home standing. Michael Allen of the Preservation Research Office told me that Paul McKee, the buildings owner had given the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation two weeks to come up with a plan to salvage the facade, without chipping in any funding, of course! There have been discussions of producing measured drawings to market the facade for re-use.
Below is a photo from January 2, 2007, just after the cancer of brick theft, which would consume most of the structure, had first attacked the funeral home rear garage addition. Coincidentally, one of Paul McKee's many shell companies had taken ownership in 2006. No attempts were made over the five years of slow degradation to secure the home or prevent further attack on the structure. After the stone facade is salvaged, crated and taken away, nothing will be left but a vacant plot of land and an asphalt lot. So much for Regeneration!
Vanishing STL was created to illustrate the continuing loss of irreplaceable architecture from landmark buildings to ordinary homes due to demolition, abandonment and neglect. Often I write about structures threatened with demolition to bring awareness of the situation and promote preservation as an alternative. All photos are by Paul Hohmann unless noted otherwise.