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.
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.
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.
Can McKee do ANY temp stop-gap measures to bolster/cover the hole in the roof or chapel floor? If he was a better steward of his props we wouldn't have to worry about this....but...
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