St. Louis Public Radio News
8:46 am
Wed August 27, 2008

Old Post Office developers continue to seek damages against two who tried to save Century Building

St. Louis – The developers who rehabbed the Old Post Office in downtown St. Louis are still seeking $1.5 million in damages against two people who tried to stop the demolition of the nearby Century Building.

The Century was torn down in 2004 to make way for a new parking garage.

Marcia Behrendt and Roger Plackemeier unsuccessfully sued to stop the Century's demolition, citing its historic character.

But in 2005, the developers sued the two downtown residents for malicious prosecution, claiming Behrendt and Plackemeier's litigation caused expensive delays.

Plackemeier said the developers are just out for vengeance.

"It's a bizarre case when you think about it, because you have preservation organizations suing preservationists," Plackemeier said. "And it just doesn't make sense at all, and that's why we're fighting this thing."

One of the plaintiffs in the case is tied to the investment arm of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a national nonprofit group. The others are the Missouri Development Finance Board, a state agency, and the St. Louis Land Clearance and Redevelopment Authority.

Plaintiff's attorneys say Plackemeier and Behrendt had the Century placed on the National Register of Historic Places after a judge approved its demolition. The developers claim Plackemeier and Behrendt knew their lawsuits were without merit, and only wanted to disrupt the complex financing arrangement for the Old Post Office.