Historic Lemp Brewery collapses in South St. Louis, need for demolition being assessed

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ST. LOUIS – A section of the historic Lemp Brewery in South St. Louis collapsed Sunday morning.

The St. Louis Fire Department responded to a substantial building collapse call around 9:30 a.m. Witnesses say the collapse happened quickly but was extremely loud.

The building has been standing since the 1840s. It once served as Lemp Brewery but in recent years has been used for storage space. There are tales saying the building is haunted, and each Fall the basement is used as a haunted house.

Most of the building is still standing, but the side closest to the corner of Cherokee and 18th street is completely demolished. Large chunks of brink were blocking the entire roadway until a clean-up crew showed up with machinery around 4:30 p.m.

The St. Louis Fire Department used their K-9 and collapse rescue teams to ensure there was no one caught underneath the rubble. Thankfully no one has been reported injured or deceased due to the incident.

A local nonprofit group called St. Louis Bicycle Works has been using the space a storage unit. Their group teaches children about bicycle safety and maintenance and even gives a free bike to kids who finish the entire program.

The group had over 700 bikes stored on the side of the building that collapsed. Once they are cleared by the fire department and street division to enter the building, they can get a better picture of the supply damage.

Captain Garon Mosby with St. Louis Fire Department said a team took readings on adjacent walls to make sure there wasn’t another potion of the structure that might be a concern. He said everything looks stable for now, but they will come back once the rubble is cleared to do a complete assessment on the building.

Lemp Brewery is a staple south city landmark. They would like to restore as much of the building as possible, but if it is unstable and has a chance of collapsing and hurting people in the community, complete demolition may be the only option.

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