Andrew Weil is the Assistant Director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, where he works to preserve the area’s 19th-century buildings. Lately, theives have been knocking them down to sell their bricks. (Mandi Rice, St. Louis Public Radio).
Buildings that are vandalized by brick theives are often called "doll houses." (Mandi Rice, St. Louis Public Radio)
There is also a legal used brick industry in St. Louis, selling from businesses like this one, Century Used Brick. The legal market is being undersold by the illegal products gathered by thieves. (Mandi Rice, St. Louis Publicr Radio).
Every day, train cars and semi trucks leave St. Louis stacked high with pallets of bricks. They head south to cities like New Orleans, to be reused in new construction.
But those bricks leave at a cost to the city—they’re often stolen from buildings the city owns, damaging both the government’s investment and city’s historic heritage. Mandi Rice takes us to one of those neighborhoods, and asks what the city government is doing to curb the problem.