Clemens House | St. Louis Public Radio

Clemens House

Historical papers and religious items dated back to 1896 filled the time capsule found under the Our Lady of Good Counsel Chapel. Photo from March 28, 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

A hobby preservationist cracked open a time capsule from 1896 this morning to find a well-preserved collection of Catholic religious items and historic papers.

Jim Meiners found the copper box in the foundation of the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel, which was demolished with the Clemens House after the property caught fire last year.

“It would’ve been put there when the building was built, and we don’t know what’s in it,” he said before cutting into the lead seal on the box.

Environmental Protection Agency workers met with city health officials at the Clemens House before learning they did not have authorization to test the site for asbestos.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency has found no trace of asbestos near the Clemens House in north St. Louis, according to city officials.

The mansion, built by Mark Twain’s uncle in 1860, burned on July 12, causing some residents to be concerned about asbestos contamination. The St. Louis Health Department contacted the Environmental Protection Agency, which began putting monitors up in the area one week later.

Environmental Protection Agency workers met with city health officials at the Clemens House before learning they did not have authorization to test the site for asbestos.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday with comments from Mayor Lyda Krewson – The day after a recent four-alarm fire engulfed the historic Clemens House on Cass Avenue, neighbors got together with brooms and shovels to start cleaning up the debris left scattered across their yards.

“We started talking and started looking and then we decided — wait a minute, we don’t know what we’re sweeping up here,” said Larry Chapman, a retired carpenter who lives on Helen Street.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

A huge redevelopment project on St. Louis’ north side has been in a holding pattern for years.

A lawsuit challenged the city’s authorization of millions of dollars in tax incentives for the 1,500-acre development “Northside Regeneration.”

The Missouri Supreme Court could rule on the case as early as Tuesday.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, the years of waiting for work to begin have left questions about whether developer Paul McKee can really pull off his expansive plan.

The Mark Twain Connection

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 1, 2012 - As the legal battle over Paul McKee's proposed but delayed $8.1 billion redevelopment in north St. Louis advanced to the Missouri Court of Appeals Wednesday, the arguments on both sides stayed pretty much the same.