The historic Pond Hotel in Wildwood is in imminent danger of being demolished. The hotel is located at the intersection of Manchester and Pond Roads in the small community of Pond, which dates from the 1830's. Pond was never incorporated and became part of Wildwood when it incorporated in 1995. Photo above from The Past in Our Presence - Historic Buildings in St. Louis County. A recent photo accompanying a Suburban Journal article about the hotel shows the roof has collapsed at one of the rear wings of the building, causing the City of Wildwood to consider demanding either demolition or restoration of the building. The Pond Hotel has been owned by Scott Keller since 1995. He had planned to renovate the hotel and open a microbrewery, but said that plans had stalled due to lack of adequate sewers in the area and lack of further development along Manchester Road west of the Wildwood Town Center, which is about 1.5 miles east of the hotel. Another article in the Eureka - Wildwood Patch from 2011 mentioned that the Wildwood Historic Preservation Commission would discuss the Pond Hotel at a meeting on January 26, 2012. The first comment below the story mentions that the Preservation Commission decided at the meeting to have the Wildwood City Engineer inspect the building before a final decision is made about its fate. The more recent article in the Suburban Journal does not mention the inspection, but indicates the city had asked the owner to remove the structure, but did not give a deadline to do so. A quote from Joe Vujnich, Wildwood's director of planning and parks implies that with the recent roof collapse the city may soon press Keller to do something about the building. Reading between the lines, generally roof collapses occur due to deterioration from water infiltration. If the owner had made some basic roof repairs in 1995, the building would likely not be endangered today.
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.