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Court denies Cupples 7 demolition

(ABS Consulting)
A composite image from an engineering report by ABS Consulting shows the partial collapse of the timber supports for the east wall of Cupples 7. A judge on June 28 denied a demolition permit for the structure.

The owners of a crumbling warehouse building in downtown St. Louis are out of legal options at the state level.

Judge Robert Dierker late last month rejected the request from the owner of Cupples 7 to tear down the building, located at 10th and Spruce streets. The owners of the building sought a demolition permit, saying the building had deteriorated to the point that it was no longer safe and economically unfeasible to repair. The city Preservation Review Board disagreed, saying the exterior walls of Cupples 7 could be saved.

A second city agency refused to hear the case. Dierker's ruling from June 28 upheld the denial, saying that while the preservation ordinance encourages the Preservation Board to take public safety into account:

"...the "overriding goal is to preserve these buildings whenever possible, and that demolishing a building that has significant architectural and historical value should be an act of last resort. The CRO [Cultural Resources Office] and the [Preservation] Board do not believe Cupples 7 has reached that point."

Owners of Cupples 7 had no comment on the denial.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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