Partially collapsed building almost restored - KMOV.com

Partially collapsed building almost restored

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Repair work is underway at the "P" Building after the building was damaged in a storm on October 26, 2010. By Afton Spriggs Repair work is underway at the "P" Building after the building was damaged in a storm on October 26, 2010. By Afton Spriggs
By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs
The "P" Building before the storm damage By Afton Spriggs The "P" Building before the storm damage By Afton Spriggs
Damage at the "P" Building after a storm on October 26, 2010 By Lakisha Jackson Damage at the "P" Building after a storm on October 26, 2010 By Lakisha Jackson
Damage at the "P" Building after a storm on October 26, 2010 By Lakisha Jackson Damage at the "P" Building after a storm on October 26, 2010 By Lakisha Jackson

The "P" Building has stood along South Grand in South St. Louis for some 90 years.  But a good chunk of it came tumbling to the sidewalk after violent winds on October 26th knocked a decorative wall off the edge of the roof.  No one was hurt burt some thought the building would never be the same.

The owner of the building, which houses apartments and a couple of businsess on the ground level, didn't accept that assessment that day.

"It's a disaster, but it's a disaster we can deal with," Karen Karabell told me that ugly October morning.

Later that day she had a restoration team out to the building and they've been working almost non-stop for five weeks.

We showed up Thursday.  Karen invited us to come watch a milestone moment as crews placed a 400-pound cement medallion atop the building, replacing the one that was destroyed when it hit the ground five weeks earlier.  Karen likes this new one better anyway.

She didn't have to do any of this.  She could have pocketed more of the insurance money and done the bare minimum to make sure the building was safe.  She said going the next step to make the building look as good as, if not better than, before is about much more than herself or her building.

"It's a vote of confidence in the neighborhood," she told me Thursday morning.  "We believe in the neighborhood.  We don't want to walk away.  That medallion comes from a building in North St. Louis where people did walk away."

The restoration is expected to be complete at 3653 South Grand in the next couple of weeks.

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.  He can be reached at mschnyder@kmov.com.

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