Fall 2003. Photograph courtesy of Toby Weiss.
1937 / 1939 Montgomery Street
1937-39 showed occasional signs of life -- a car parked in back, a dog running about in the yard. That makes it unique on the block.
It's a hard building to figure out: 4 housing units, 2 houses, 1 structure. Elaborate stairs provide independent access to the upper story units, a common arrangement in St. Louis -- though these are clearly a recent addition; the originals were probably much more simple. The house sports a mandard attic front, a very common gesture on 19th century St. Louis housing; it's possible that this was not original -- Compton & Dry show it with a sloped roof.
The building was erected in 1891, with an unfinished partial basement, as a four family building, of 4,904 square feet. It was viabley occupied as recently as 1995, when the rear deck was repalced. The early 1990s also saw interior renovations, which became painfully apparent when brick rustlers tore open the walls in 2007.
The vinyl siding on the third story would once have had dormer windows and a slate tile finish. It started peeling away in 2005 -- a very bad portent for the building's future, as it allowed rain unchecked access to the attic structure and, from there, the front wall.
In November 2005, the entire building was purchased by "N & G Ventures LLC", one of the many shell companies used by developer Paul McKee in an attempt to covertly consolidate huge swaths of property in the area.
In May of 2007, like so many other Blairmont properties, the building was attacked by brick rustlers, who destroyed both the side walls. The once-proud house is now a dangerous ruin, condemned and waiting for demolition. As of February 2008, it was still standing in this unstable condition.