Wrecking Ball Blues

With the impending loss of the San Luis Apartments for a damn surface parking lot, the home on Kinshighway between Murdoch and Nottingham that is coming down, and countless others, I can't help but feel helpless and saddened by the crumbling structures that are erased from our landscape under dubious circumstances. I feel powerless as a citizen of St. Louis standing by on the sidelines and witnessing more of these structures fall. I don't want more surface parking lots. I don't want generic crap overlaid on the history and streets of St. Louis. Can't the powers that be see that these buildings are part of the fabric that keep people living here?

This is not progress. This is depressing. What can be done to stop this? I know there are like minded others out there, I'm just not connected. I feel like action is necessary to rethink the way the city green lights demolition for such short sighted goals as surface parking. I commend the efforts of the Friends of San Luis. These folks really tried hard, albeit maybe too late to fight the Arch Diocese lust for surface parking in the CWE.

I'm down on this one. The alderman, the church, the city, the judge, they all want more surface parking at any cost. Can't they see this is wrong?

I'm again reminded of the excellent Son Volt song "Way Down Watson" from the 1999 album Straightaways by local musician Jay Farrar :



"Put whiskey on the wounds

Salt the glass and say goodbye

No feel good scenes to bring you back

Just falling brick and broken glass


Wrecking-ball operator

Twenty years pulling the lever

And these windows shield the cold

From the weather of my soul


And feel the heart strings

Sinking fast

Another treasure found

Another tumbling down


I protect my ears and eyes

From the dust and noise

The word comes down to the bitter end

The diesel hums, the cycle spins


When we meet on that hard hat ground

Just a photograph, no one else around

Words to live by, just goes to show

Some day we all gotta go


And feel the heart strings
Sinking fast
Another treasure found
Another tumbling down"



That just about sums it up for me. I can't imagine being part of the team of people that green light the kind of destruction that destroys an old building for a surface parking lot. The lyrics above remind me of the Coral Courts or the Kingsland Cinema destruction.