Monday, September 22, 2008

Daily Dose of Blairmont 189

  • 1930 St. Louis Avenue (N & G Ventures LLC, March 2006, $125,000)

May 2008

It is perhaps the single most beautiful building endangered by Paul McKee's destructive blockbusting. Last serving as the Price Funeral Home, its front facade features a wealth of architectural detail, including diminutive inclined columns which have long brought to my mind the works of Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. Gothic arched windows, a thick lacework balcony, floral inscriptions, ornate brackets, raised medallions, and corbeled parapet wall ends add to its rich ornamental program.

It was wisely chosen by Landmarks Association of St. Louis to represent all of McKee's buildings on the annual Eleven Most Endangered Places list. Even this amazing building is not immune from the destructive forces set loose by the widespread negligence in Blairmontland; brick rustlers damaged a corner of a rear garage annex, but fortunately did no further damage to the main section of the building.

March 2003, while still in use

March 2007, boarded up. 1937 Montgomery stands in the background at left.

May 2008. In the foreground, a dirt patch is all that remains of 1937 Montgomery.

1930 St. Louis contains a concentrated dose of the beautiful architectural embellishment found on so many Blairmont buildings, a built legacy that is being allowed to crumble and die. The building abley stands for all that is endangered by Blairmont's speculatory investment: architecture, business, homes, neighborhoods, community.

More on 1930 St. Louis Avenue at Ecology of Absence: Who Would Destroy This Building?


Tony Renner said...

What about the people in Blairmontland? I'm much more concerned about them than the buildings.

-- Tony

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Powers,

You relate this building to Frank Furness's work, and I think you're right. I am the author of the Furness bio, "Architecture and the Violent Mind," and administer Friends of Furness on Facebook. If you don't mind, I'd like to post one of your flickr photos on that site. Would that be okay? I am mlewis and the rest of the address (split for spam protection)is Good luck with your architectural projects.

Michael Lewis