5/12/08

3460 Oak Hill - Swan Song?

Today I went to survey 3460 Oak Hill and while snapping photos I heard from the street, Is this 3460 Oak Hill? (Yes, that's correct, one of the many code violations on this building includes missing address numbers.)
A guy in a pickup wanted to know, I asked him to pull over and we chatted. He told me the LRA owned property was going up for auction tomorrow. I questioned his info while my blood pressure danced. If it's back on the block when Sam Meller supposedly had the green light I will personally resuscitate that recall.

He showed me a print out from CDA and I pointed to Developer typed behind the address.

We were both confused: he had a print out of auctions, I thought I was reading that it was being developed.

I Googled 3460 Oak Hill and found http://stlcin.missouri.org/devprojects/projinfo.cfm?DevProjectID=387 This was last updated in 2001 when the Codd Brothers were attempting to redevelop the building.

I recall Mark Ettling, the former Director of GOHCC announcing on our neighborhood listserv: 'A historic survey of 16 blocks in Ward 15 was completed by Lynn Josse. The next step will be to submit an application for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.'

Ironic? You betcha.

At this point the historic art deco building is destined to be an empty LRA Lot. The concrete pilings now have severe cracks in them which weren't there last fall(pardon my poorly rendered red arrows), bricks have fallen off, rows of bricks have fallen off the parapet, and rows of mortar is missing from the West side of the building.

Why have alderwoman Jennifer Florida, LRA, and CDA allowed this to happen?
A perfectly sound proposal was submitted in 2001 by the Codd Brothers and dismissed when no other proposal was being considered.
http://stlouisbricks.blogspot.com/2007/07/3460-oak-hill-redux.html

Last year I took a photo of this same view. Now there's missing bricks to the parapet along with a row of listing bricks about to fall. This is now a Life Safety issue.


Trees are now growing into the foundation.

These cracks in the concrete pilings weren't there last year. Click on the photos to enlarge.



About 20 feet of the parapet is missing, I suspect it fell in towards the roof. This isn't a visual perspective issue, I checked it from various views; it's gone baby, gone.

Missing mortar.

Bricks are missing along with rows of mortar.



The side parking pad (once a matching garage) is now a pile of bricks.

2 comments:

Vanishing STL said...

There is absolutely no reason why this building should be demolished. Pyramid considered submitting a proposal for it several years ago during the first round RFP round. At that time we did an extensive survey of the building inside and out. While much of the parapets need to be taken down and re-built and there is other masonry work to be done, the concrete structure of the building was in very sound shape. I cannot imagine that there are major structural issues that have developed since that time. The spalling concrete on the corner window column is likely not a major issue. Typically these types of spalls simply need coating the exposed re-bar with a rust inhibitor and patching w/ concrete.

Millennium submitted a proposal more recently during the last RFP round, but another developer was chosen.

I am a bit confused by the auction of the building by LRA. This is simply not their usual MO. Normally they are very controlling in this kind of redevelopment with an extensive laundry list of requirements and plan review process, so simply unloading the building at an auction seems quite odd. Anyone else know anything about this?

Christian said...

I'm sorry I've been remiss in posting an update.

3460 Oak Hill was not on the auction block and did say Developer Selected. The guy I talked to in the truck was confused (and so was I). J-Flo confirmed in an email that Sam Meller's budget has been approved. Of course other items need to be approved.

If you look at the second photo you'll see the outer course of bricks is about to pop out. Another winter freeze will do it.