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See Demolition Requests At Demolition Docket

Face it, building demolition in the City of St. Louis is a fact of life. Much of the city is in “preservation review” where we know city staff will review applications for demolition permits, denials are heard in public before the Preservation Board. But because we value fiefdoms, some wards are excluded from this review process. With so many vacant buildings, how is the average citizen to know when an owner wants to raze their building just down  the street?

Enter the Demolition Docket:

The St. Louis Demolition Docket is a private news service that reports the demolitions of buildings granted by the City of St. Louis. The Preservation Research Office publishes and compiles the report from public records maintained by the Building Division of the City of St. Louis.

The most recent post, from June 17, 2015. Click to view post.
The most recent post, from June 17, 2015. Click to view post.

Big thanks to Michael Allen and everyone involved for putting this together. This new site can be followed on RSS, Twitter, & Facebook. I’ve added it to the links in the sidebar — under both blogroll & research sources.

— Steve Patterson




Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. gmichaud says:

    Michael doesn’t even have the demolition review listed on his website, so thanks for the info. Both you and Michael have done a great deal to further urban discussions over the years. I wish the best to both of you.

  2. gmichaud says:

    So my thoughts are this: the photos show quite a few of buildings that appear in good shape, even the falling wood porch on a brick building makes things appear worse than they really are.
    This goes back to the discussion of transit as it relates to demolition. How is the city to be built? And let’s focus on the city although certainly inner ring suburbs and old time communities like Kirkwood and Ferguson are part of a discussion.
    Demolition, especially of sound buildings, should fit into an overall urban plan that supports walking and by extension transit. Or what is the other idea?
    Making demolition public as Micheal has done is that it shines light on the very question of what type of city is being built.
    Sound buildings should not be destroyed: especially until a clear path of urban development is cited and made known to the people of St. Louis.

  3. JZ71 says:

    While we can all get bummed by reading this list, there’s really not much else we can do, directly. Maybe we can get together and figure out a way to to buy and “save” a few of them. But most owners look at demolition, especially of sound structures, as a last resort, unless, of course, they’re buying a nearby parcel for more parking. The city can’t just arbitrarily say no, even if some neighbors “object”, and even if they could, the end result, in most cases, would just be demolition thru neglect (see much of north city). So yeah, we can continue to lament the continued loss of some interesting, even some very interesting, old buildings, but the only way to change this dynamic is thru the marketplace – create demand, make them valuable, not expendable. Put you money where your mouth is, along with your spouses’, your relatives’, your employers’ and even your enemies’ . . .

  4. guest says:

    Discussing demolition without a context? What’s the point?

    • guest says:

      Just dug a bit deeper into the website. The author acknowledges they do not address context of demolitions, and that indeed every demo has a context. So to address this, the author invites readers to provide context in the comments. That’s weak and a copout.

      First off, most readers don’t know the context of the broad array of city demolitions, while on the other hand, the author of the “Demolition Docket” website likely does, or at least far more so than most of his readers. You can tell by the comments. Lots of comments about demolitions in predominantly white areas; few comments in predominantly black areas. Yet most demos occur in predominantly black areas.

      • John R says:

        There are very few comments on the site… the post that has the most (3) is about a demo in a predominantly black area. But thanks for making things up!

        • guest says:

          It looked to me like the one with the most comments was for a demo on Lindell owned by SLU. Is there a way to see the thread of all comments rather than having to weed through each demo cited? Regardless, the lack of context provided leaves things rather dangling for the average reader. Agreed?

          • John R says:

            I don’t see any comments for the SLU owned building on Olive but I see 2 for the demo as part of the Lawrence Group project on Lindell; there is a known reason stated for that demo (parking lot) and I think that is what led to the comments. Anyway, I think the site is quite interesting; I’m sure there could be improvements with time and resources and think where a reason is known and posted that will garner more comments. (Obviously some of the worst conditioned buildings are LRA-owned and reason for their demo is more evident than some others.)

          • As the editor of Demolition Docket, I invite you to leave such comments on the site itself, or send us an email with ideas. I just now saw this thread. The purpose of the site is to the provide hard data to users who need it, like real estate listings in a newspaper or City Journal lists of ordinances signed by the mayor. There will be no commentary on demolitions or personal information about owners posted. Data comes from the Building Division, and we repost in summary form. We will be adding demolition costs. The city’s CSB data for each address is hard to aggregate without manual work; the Building Division data is not linked to Geo St. Louis. If you have any suggestions for expanding the data sets to expand the contexts, contact me. michael@preservationresearch.com or 314-920-5680.

  5. guest says:

    Does this mean that if I get a permit to demolish our raggedy old garage it will be listed in this website? Why?

  6. gmichaud says:

    There should be policy changes. Sound buildings should have clear replacement values. In addition, like the historic districts it is possible to create districts for transit, walking and neighborhoods that may be harmed by unnecessary demolition and be used by a demolition “board of citizens” to pass on any decisions. There are many factors to consider, but the wanton destruction of old St. Louis should stop.
    Make no mistake about it, the destruction of old St Louis is not an accident. It was necessary to develop St Charles and other counties.
    The people running things aren’t getting it done.

    • guest says:

      Pontificate much? There are extremes. Maybe St. Louis is too unregulated; maybe it’s too regulated. It can take a long time to demolish a decrepit building in St. Louis. Bureaucrats run everything.


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