I recently wrote an open letter to Mayor Slay about one of my favorite buildings, 3460 Oak Hill http://stlouisbricks.blogspot.com/2007/07/3460-oak-hill-redux.htm

I sent the above link via email and received a letter dated August 4 from Barbara Geisman:

Dear Ms. Herman:

Thank you for your email of August 1, 2007, advising Mayor Slay that you had posted a letter to him on your blog. The Mayor asked me to respond to your email in my capacity as his Executive Director of Development. I have accessed your blog and read your letter, and have printed it out as an attachment to this letter...In the future, if you have questions or comments that you wish to direct to Mayor Slay and his staff, it would be helpful if you could send them directly to the Mayor - there are a lot of wonderful communications on the Internet that concern issues in the City but unfortunately we do not have the time to search the web and find them all.

By copy of this letter, I am asking LRA and CDA staff to take the following actions in response to the concerns raised in the letter that was posted on your blog.

Marian, I would appreciate it if you could provide me with a narrative on the actions CDA has taken to date to find a qualified developer for the property.

Laura, I would appreciate it if you could take a close look at this property and arrange for LRA's maintenance staff to secure it to the maximum extent possible, recognizing that we want this building to be saved and restored. I would also appreciate it if you can give me a report on the condition of this property and what LRA has done to restore it.

Ms Herman, once I receive the above-requested responses from Marian and Laura I will share them with you. I believe CDA has been attempting to find a qualified developer for this property for some time. I hope Marian's response will shed some light on why this has been so difficult.

Thank you for taking the time to write and thank you, most of all, for choosing to be a city resident. You and other like you are Mayor Slay's very important partners in his drive to make St. Louis City a great place to work and play once again.

Sincerely yours,

Barbara A. Greisman

Copies: Mayor Francis G. Slay; Honorable Jennifer Florida, Alderwoman 15th ward; Jeff Rainford, Chief of Staff; Jill Claybour and Marian Miller, CDA administration; Rodney Crim, Otis Williams, and Laura Costello, SLDC

It was great to have a quick response from the Mayor's office although I'm puzzled by 'Make St. Louis City a great place to work and play once again.' Yikes! What am I missing?

I do understand that Mayor Slay can't be expected to read every blog. The reason I had emailed him a link to my blog article was to provide text and photo illustrations.

I waited two weeks and stopped by 3460 Oak Hill on Sunday.

The shrubs along the side of the building have been removed! Please go after that tree also, the roots could be infiltrating the building foundation.

Rows of mortar popping out and a section where a group of bricks is about to jettison. I didn't notice this a few months ago....new? Life safety issue?

Holy stinkola! Missing bricks in the parapet, rows of disappearing mortar and new graffiti on the inside of the windows.

Many more broken windows on the second and third floors. I didn't check the back door to see if it was secured since I was off to meet Bad Tim for dinner. The back door board up was hanging open last fall (which was how I took those interior photos and photos from the roof)

One remaining intact window. Will the others be secured from winter storm damage?

The neglected shrubs that have previously obscured the front of the building have been removed, thanks! I've been wanting a photo of the doorway for years.

As of today, I haven't heard back from LRA or CDA. I have heard a rumor that Sam Mellen had submitted a plan to redevelop the building.

Further reading on this building: http://www.15thwardstl.org/taxonomy/term/31

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