Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Abandoned Factory, Walnut Park #1

Situated on a quiet backstreet near West Florissant Avenue, the Barry-Wehmiller Machinery Co. sits in a state of increasing ruin.

Later taken over in the 1990's by a wholesale industrial product resale concern, it now sits abandoned, and filled with "stuff."

See an article here about the interior of the factory.

Owned by the City's Land Reutilization Authority, it most likely is polluted and hazardous for use. One can only imagine in 1912, when the factory opened, the sounds of boots on the streets as workers walked down the street from their homes in Walnut Park.


  1. completely off topic question -- Do you know what's going on with the house in Tower Grove Heights on the corner of Spring/Hartford... the one (coming from Arsenal) that's on the right before crossing Hartford?

    For years there hasn't been glass in the turret's window and for the past five (or so?) months there have been barricades around the house down Spring Street....

    1. Not sure, I've heard the house has been occupied at least until recently, if not currently. Is there a condemnation order on the front door?

    2. Yep, there is. It's super weird... but I guess not unexpected since you know that floor had to have been rotted through - and there are vines on the inside of the basement (you can see them from the street).

      My old Sociology professor was part of the group of neighbors that boarded up that window years back... and the guy that lives (or rather lived) there took it down... and none of the people that helped put it up knew why he did that. I don't know if my professor was correct, but he said that it was a younger guy that lived there (the house had been his father's)...

      What happens to a building on a residential street that gets condemned though - those barricades have been there for awhile - do they bulldoze it? Seems such a shame since you know that house had to have been extremely lovely back in the day....

    3. My observations of the building are that the slate roof is failing, and dropping tiles onto the sidewalk. As well, at least one of the chimneys visible from the street is failing. Both of which are probably responsible for the presence of the barriers. As one can see, the clay exhaust pipe has separated from the body of the chimney. Having a condemnation tag does not necessarily mean the house will be razed. It is oftentimes used to move people out of a building, e.g., because of hygienic reasons.

      However, I have noticed that even in stable nabes--or relatively stable, like my Dutchtown--there are increasing numbers of demos, arising from what seem to be the most dubious of structural issues. Even though this is in a historic district, and is part of the Preservation Review and conservation protocols, it won't guarantee its survival. My best advice is to cross your fingers.


A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.