St. Louis begins the New Year with demolition

January 12, 2013 by  

A report from St. Louis, Missouri, dated January 4, says the city intends to demolish a windowless, five-story downtown building known as ‘Powell Square’. The building, which is visible to freeway traffic traveling through downtown on I-55, and which comprises a concrete framework covered in graffiti, has apparently been in its present condition for 10-12 years.

According to St. Louis’s deputy building commissioner, Frank Oswald, the city condemned the building as a safety hazard in the spring of 2012, and notified the owner. Powell Square is located in an industrial district and is surrounded by low-rise structures, some of them also abandoned. Oswald noted it will take a contractor between 90 and 120 days to demolish the building, since it stands next to heavily used railroad tracks.

The building stands next to the St. Mary of Victories Chapel rectory, whose priest, Monsignor John McCarthy, believes the city’s action in condemning Powell Square was appropriate, though he expressed disappointment that none of the city’s plans for developing the area came to fruition. McCarthy added that he has seen a number of homeless people in Powell Square, but that they had not caused any trouble in his experience.

Since the city may ultimately end up owning the lot, the building commission or planning commission might consider working with a brochure printer to create a piece that describes potential uses for the land, particularly as it has rail access, in the hope that it becomes occupied quickly.