7/31/07

MAD FOR MORTAR?

Yikes! Presto, destructo.

When bad repointing ruins a historic home...what's next, stucco?




DREAMY GLAZED GREEN & BROWN BRICK

I like glazed brick.

This building is currently occupied by Stella Blues Bar and the bright blue awnings make those glazed green 'columns' POP.

Each brick has a tonic sheen watercolor landscape.









AMERICAN BOND - TGS

A classic example of American brick bond.


7/30/07

3460 OAK HILL - REDUX

Dear Mayor Slay,

Eleven months ago I wrote about this building http://stlouisbricks.blogspot.com/search?q=3460+oak+hill
at 3460 Oak Hill which is currently owned by LRA.

The condition of the building is rapidly deteriorating; damaged parapet, broken windows and this massive fissure on the facade:




The brick walls of the parking pads have been vandalized and destroyed.

As seen from the street:



From the alley and the side of the parking pads (once a three car garage):





Oops, some of the bricks fell on the neighbors vinyl siding, watch out for that lawsuit!




Sorry for the blurred image, I was experiencing fear as I did a photo of the parapet from the ground. It appears to be listing and I was prepared to launch in the event of falling brick or glass:



This was once an exceptional Art Deco-ish building with 12 efficiency apartments. The city bought it and its been empty (and deteriorating) for the last 11 years. It's a cultural and architectural asset to the neighborhood with an outstanding view from the roof top which is staircase accessible from the interior.









In August of 2004, a proposal was submitted to CDA by two bothers who've done extensive rehabbing in TGS.

They hired an architect, a structural engineer and an environmental engineer to review the building (all part of the CDA process). The reports came back from the environmental engineer that the building was fairly 'clean' no asbestos and the only lead paint was on the stair risers.

The structural engineer disclosed that the roof, floors and pilings are concrete, the exterior is brick. (This is one of the current problem with the building, rain and snow is getting in between the roof and the walls and creating severe cracks. Other poblems: the windows have been destroyed, the interior littered, vitrolite destroyed, walls covered with graffiti and please get an inspector in there to check on the pipes and any other metal that can be salvaged.)

Then, one of the brothers gets a call from Marian Miller at CDA who tells him
they have a week deadline to submit the final plans. He was surprised, had no prior knowledge of this deadline and their architect was busy and unable to render the extensive plans.

During that year no other developer had submitted a proposal to CDA.

I'm perplexed. Why was a sound proposal given a deadline and when that deadline couldn't be met, why was the plan dismissed? So I emailed 15th ward Alderwoman Jennifer Florida with my question and she responded:

"They told me their plans changed..moving to Webster and could not do the project. They had the building I believe from 2002-2004. I love their work. I like them. Had hoped they would do the project. I authorized recordation of the building to allow for interior dem. II was told it would not work out. CDA normally works w/ developers even when they run over 18 monthes. I am certainly interested in getting the building rehabbed asap."
Jennifer


Huh?

* * * * * * *

I'd like to know why the largest property owner in the city (The City itself) isn't held to the same standards that I am as a home owner.

Not that I've ever been cited for a code violation, I diligently maintain my property. I own a two family apartment building with a brick garage and am hyper vigilant about my tenants safety. I'm a responsible landlord.

This last year I've replaced my two back porch decks with reclaimed plastic boards. It was much more expensive than wood but I didn't want to use a natural resource. I installed hand rails in front of my house where none existed before (yet I was never cited for not having them by various inspectors). I had repointing done on the back exterior wall where the storms beat at the mortar. I also had my front storm doors replaced with historically correct wood storm doors (I refuse to use aluminum).

Again, why isn't the City held to the standards I must follow and why isn't this building being maintained?

Yours truly,
Christian Herman
TGS

7/27/07

Painted brick: The worst in Hooiser Rehabbing

Are you fuckers out of your minds painting historic brick!? Do you realize how offensive this is? It's WORSE than white vinyl siding, it's worse than finger nails on a chalk board and it's way worse than a David Lynch movie!

Brick is of the earth. It resonates with Outside. If you must get stupid with the paint, please paint the interior of your home with these absurd colors. Also know that within a year the exterior paint will start to peel and chip.

Most offensive:
38XX Wyoming.

I was driving along the street when I slammed the brakes in front of this mess. I've spared a detail photo which would reveal the wood trim on the basement windows painted brilliant blue. Take a pulse stopping gander at the hideous Home Depot front door. To relieve the horror of viewing this crapola, glaze to the right at the beautiful brick arch above the entry way.

One of the few carriage houses in Tower Grove South that some jerk painted a puke green.

Sure, paint the massive brick building.
Click on this image to enlarge it - peeling paint!

ART DECO BUILDING - JAY ASIA - SOUTH GRAND

Silver glazed terra cotta! Lushly ornate and made to resemble chrome.
Currently occupied by Jay Asia.









7/26/07

MOSAIC TILE ADDRESS - 4273 JUNIATA

This mosaic tile numbers exist in the tree lawn at 4273 Juniata, several buildings up the street from my building.

TERRA COTTA CAPITAL

SPHERES

Trying to remain dignified in front of vinyl siding.

HARTFORD ST TURRET - TGS

Pop Quiz: How many turrets are there in Tower Grove South?





Window in turret

JULIE GROOMING MR. BIG - SEE SPOT CLEAN




FLEUR-DE-LIS STAINED GLASS WINDOWS - BPW




GAVIN CLINKERS

Clinker bricks are bricks used in the construction of buildings. In early brick firing kilns, the surface of the bricks that were too close to the fire changed into the volcanic textures and darker/purplish colors, and were called "clinkers". They were originally discarded, but around 1900, these bricks were discovered by architects to be usable, distinctive and charming in architectural detailing, adding the earthy quality favored by Arts & Crafts style designers. Modern brick-making techniques can recreate the appearance of these bricks and produce a more consistent product.

In the United States, clinker bricks were made famous by the Pasadena, California architecture firm Greene and Greene who used them (often in combination with native rocks) in walls, foundations, and chimneys.

The name "clinker brick" is said to come from the sound that they would make when banged together, being heavier than regular bricks; however, this term is also used for the hardened residue of coal fires, that can have a similar texture.



Ripped from the Net.

JEANNE WALKING IRON

I love Jeanne.
She's a welder, lives in the Castro in San Francisco. That's her standing on that I Beam. Since I suffer from acrophobia this photo gives me the willies so know I didn't take it.

myspace.com/girlofsteel377



On Golden Gate Bridge

HOT FISH - GRANITE CITY

4364 ARSENAL ST - DOOR

7/21/07

The RED DIAMOND - Benton Park West

When I first met Chris he was living in this building in Benton Park West. This made sense to me since the Red Diamond is the rarest of gems and accurately describes the inhabitant.



I love Chris.

ALTON BRICK - GIFT FROM ERIC

Thanks Eric!

This brick is a gift from Eric, it's from his house in Gravois Park. Hopefully he'll provide the details of finding this brick.

BlUE BRICK!

38 Wyoming - TGS

I spied this BLUE glazed brick one day last year when dropping off something for Caryn and Tim who own the building. We had dinner at their house last week, I begged for a photo (camera DOA) and they graciously supplied this photo.