Built St. Louis > > Crumbling Landmarks || St. Louis Place > > Clemens House
James Clemens House
The 1896 addition is dominated by the impressive and well-lit chapel space,
topped with a high plaster barrel vault.
The building has faired poorly.
Its massive windows are open; our entrance disturbed a flock of pigeons roosting above the altar.
Their droppings are piled on the floors below,
along with pieces of broken marble and plaster trim. Worse, the roof has deteriorated to the point that
in several places the sky is visible beyond the plaster ceiling.
The rear of the chapel dramatically illustrates the damage that water penetration creates.
The comparatively small holes in the roof above have allowed in enough
water to destroy a wide swath of plaster ceiling, in
addition to doing untold damage to the roof's structural system. Standing beneath the sight, I found myself
regretting my lack of a hard hat.
The rear of the chapel, which includes its balcony, has been partitioned off by a newer wall, which could
be easily removed to return the grand space to its original proportions.
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