The St. Louis neighborhoods of Benton Park and Soulard are what most would consider a success story. Both have come a long way in the last 10 years, to become two of the area’s premier neighborhoods. Which is why the rotting husk of a building at 1836 Gravois Avenue stands out so much. Tucked away in the very northeastern corner of Benton Park, next to Interstate 55 and the border of Soulard, this property is one of the biggest eyesores in the area.
Condemned and slated for demolition in 2006, the property was saved when the owners pulled permits for completely renovating the building. The general building permit alone was valued at $250,000 so the work was to be significant. Construction soon began, and although the architectural style was a bit nontraditional, it was good to see the investment in this prominent building. Unfortunately, just after framing and drainage plumbing were completed construction stopped. Nothing has been done at the property since. What is worse, the was never properly secured and sealed, which has allowed water to continually leak through openings in the roof and whatever human or animal wanderers walk straight into the building via the unsecured rear door.
Tax records show that the property is owned by 1836 Gravois Properties LLC. According to the Missouri Secretary of State, this LLC is based out of 816 Geyer Ave., and is tied to the owners of Molly’s in Soulard. One would assume that they had planned on using 1836 Gravois as a restaurant or lounge prior to shutting down the project. Why they stopped or whether they intend on returning to the project is uncertain. What is certain is that the area will certainly be much better off when something new happens at the property. The status quo simply cannot continue.