2947 Montgomery Street (Sheridan Place LLC, December 2006)
2945 Montgomery Street (N & G Ventures LLC, May 2006)
I must apologize for the lack of a good introductory photograph of all three buildings. Sometimes the flabbergasting sight of a building destroyed by brick rustling just makes a body forget such concerns.
The thieves destroyed half of the privately owned building, completely annihilated one of the Blairmont buildings, and damaged a corner of the other -- just enough that its chances of recovery are now much dimmer than they would have been.
FIFTY! Fifty days of Blairmont! And, ladies and gentlemen, we are FAR from finished.
For this momentous occasion, I'd like to share my own photos of the most visible block desecrated by Blairmont's negligent ownership: the north side of 1900 Wright Avenue. I've been avoiding it so far, since it's been covered by other bloggers, but I think this is a good time to tackle it.
1941 Wright Street (Sheridan Place LLC, October 2006)
Our first victim is the little attached house on the right. Like pretty much the entire block, it was occupied when I first came through in 2003 with my camera. It's not in great shape, but look! That's a brand new fence out front. Somebody lived there, and cared enough to sink a couple thousand bucks into a new fence.
Then... came Blairmont. In October 2006, the house was purchased, the tenants evicted, the windows removed. Soon it was full of hazardous waste. By November 2007, the little house was utterly destroyed by brick rustlers.
Oh, but it gets worse! In December of last year, the brick vandals returned, taking out the corner of the magnificent row of townhouses next door.
This was the kiss of death for this privately owned building, and the whole row has now been demolished.
More on Victim #1 (1941) at Ecology of Absence, including the story of how Blairmont allowed it to be used as a hazardous waste dumping ground.
1929 Wright Street (Sheridan Place LLC, November 2006)
It's pretty much the same story: occupied originally, bought by Blairmont, vacated, destroyed by brick rustlers.
1923 Wright Street (Sheridan Place LLC, November 2006)
Architecturally, it's the least remarkable building on the block, a backdrop for the more handsome buildings that lined the street. It is notable for being an alley house, an increasingly rare commodity in St. Louis.
It is now the last untouched building on the block.
1921 Wright Street
Like the big townhouse row at the west end of the block, this one got hit in the last weeks of December 2007. Merry Christmas, St. Louis, from Blairmont!
2510 Coleman Avenue (Noble Development LLC, June 2006)
Not to worry, not to worry! Blairmont owns the house on the right. The house on the left, with the fancy round window, is owned by the city through its Land Reutilization Authority. It is perfectly safe from being destroyed by neglect and then handed over to a private developer once it's gone! That could not possibly happen.
Therefore, there is no possibility of beautiful masonry work being destroyed and lost forever. NONE.
ALL IS WELL.
And if you believe that, I need to talk to you about this bridge I own.
2842 St. Louis Avenue (MLK 3000 LLC, February 2007)
2844 St. Louis Avenue (MLK 3000 LLC, February 2007)
St. Louis Avenue is home to many commanding buildings, powerful designs tall enough to hold their own against a street that's much wider than it needs to be. This pair is a fine if common example.
What they haven't been able to hold out against is Blairmont ownership, and the brick thieves that so commonly accompany that status.
Fortunately, most of the damage is confined to smaller rear additions, and it is not too late to stabilize and repair the main portion of the houses. Now, whether that'll happen on Blairmont's watch... that's another matter entirely.
The buildings are visibly unsecured, and of course, as usual, the attic windows are missing. Boy, those attic windows must really be worth a lot of money!
(I had briefly thought that, perhaps, the attic windows were missing on such buildings because they'd been punched out by metal thieves trying to strip the cornice and gutters, but a quick skim through my photographs shows no correlation between the missing windows and metal stripping.)
2507 W. Hebert Street (Noble Development Co. LLC, May 2006)
2509 W. Hebert Street (Noble Development Co. LLC, May 2006)
"Noble" "Development". It's a joke, see? Two lies for the price of one!
Both houses were occupied before Blairmont got their mitts on them -- reference the aerial view linked below. They've since been stripped of window awnings, occupants, and attic windows.
The rest of the houses shown here? Owned by people who live on the block.
This is such a lovely yet typical north side block -- a diverse array of houses, distinct yet harmonious. If Blairmont really had noble intentions, if they really cared about the city of St. Louis, they'd actually do some developing -- renovate the houses, or at least do basic maintenance and get tenants in them again.
2547 Dodier Street (Dodier Investors LLC, August 2007)
"Dodier Investors". Ha! This is a kind of "investment" that Dodier Street could do without.
This building was once twice as wide as it is now, a twin. Brick rustlers completely destroyed half of it, and left the remains as a dangerous and unstable ruin. They also annihilated an identical LRA-owned building next door.
2743 Howard Street (Dodier Investors LLC, August 2007)
2741 Howard Street (Dodier Investors LLC, August 2007)
Blairmont's got both of the foreground houses -- including the slate blue one with the beautiful row of brackets. The next two are owner-occupied. Three other houses further down this JeffVanderLou block are also in Blairmont's hands.
Does Blairmont plan to demolish all of this? After all the slash-and-burn "renewal" of the last fifty years, haven't we outgrown that kind of madness?
2946 Montgomery Street (Sheridan Place LLC, December 2006)
2948 Montgomery Street (VHS Partners LLC, April 2005)
2950 Montgomery Street (Sheridan Place LLC, February 2007)
2952 Montgomery Street (vacant - MLK 3000 LLC, July 2007)
This block lost two similar houses within the last couple of years (they're present in the Bird's Eye Aerial view linked below, but not in the standard Aerial view, taken within the last year or two.) Blairmont owns the land that one of them stood on.
The remaining trio were already a pretty raggedy looking bunch, and now under Blairmont's stewardship, brick rustling has taken off the side wall of 2946.