Residents want derelict building torn down, after partial collapse

ST. LOUIS - There was a New Year’s Eve scare in part of St. Louis that’s making a comeback:  Old North St. Louis just outside of downtown.

Part of an old warehouse collapsed onto a Palm Street near 14th.

The St. Louis Fire Department sent out its Collapse Rescue Task Force.

A big chunk of a wall came crashing down around 4:30 pm in the afternoon.

Investigators found no one was hit, hurt, or trapped.  Firefighters blocked off Palm from Blair to 14th Street.

The building housed the old Meier & Pohlmann Furniture factory and warehouse from 1891 to 1959.

It has been empty for decades, nearby residents said.

Plans to turn it into loft housing over the last 10 years or more have gone nowhere.

City records show complaints about an earlier partial collapse and graffiti.

It looked like more of the building could come down at any moment, residents said.

“There’s no use for the building.  It’s been dilapidated for years and years.  Nobody does nothing about it.  The neighbors have complained,” said Sammy Cheung, who has lived next door for more than 30 years.

“They need to do something about it.  It’s just like cutting your grass, letting your grass grow out of hand,” said resident, Eugen Haley.  “That pile (of bricks) right there would have killed somebody.”

Firefighters also requested someone from the City of St. Louis Building Division to take a look at the property.

There was a man with a flashlight at the scene, checking on the condition of the building.

He refused to comment.

That block of Palm remains closed until further notice.

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