ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -– Thursday’s raging fire at an historic downtown building, plus the recent troubles with the Cupples 7 building, poses the question of the structural integrity of buildings across the city.
News 4’s Andre Hepkins spent the day working to find out how the city is dealing with buildings that could be dangerous. The city says it knocks down about 300 buildings a year, and does so when the building is a danger to the public or it’s not important.
City hall could not say how many buildings are considered dangerous. However, a trip to the intersection of Sullivan and Glasgow avenues in north St. Louis reveals homes that could make one think that the block had been bombed. One would be hard pressed to say that the blighted buildings in that area have character and need to be preserved.
“It is rough for the residents that live around there, but you also have to understand that the city doesn't own every ugly dilapidated building in the city,” says Kara Bowlin, press secretary for Mayor Francis Slay. “A lot of those are owned by private people, and when they do become dangerous we knock them down and we send the owner a bill.”