Friends of the San Luis v Archdiocese of St. Louis

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern Dist., Div. Three, ED93582, June 8, 2010: The appellant’s petition for an injunction to prevent demolition of a historically significant building was denied at trial for lack of standing. The Appeals Court dismissed the appeal as moot because the building was demolished shortly after the trial court’s judgment, and declined to exercise discretion to review the appellant’s standing. The appellant Friends also requested that the trial court judgment be vacated so as not to create a precedent. The respondent Archdiocese did not oppose the request. The Appeals Court granted the request saying, “the underlying trial-court judgment in a moot case should normally be vacated upon request if the requesting party had no control over the mooting event” [case cited]. The demolished building was replaced with a parking lot. The court noted the City of St. Louis ordinances have no provision addressing a stay of demolition pending administrative appeal. The trial court denied the Friends standing because “the group had not shown any pecuniary or personal interest, other than its generalized interest in preservation of historic structures in the City of St. Louis”.

The San Luis Apartment Building was built in 1962 as the DeVille Motor Hotel. “Charles R. Colbert, a prominent New Orleans architect of the mid-twentieth century, designed the building as a motel building using the International Style. … The Central West End Historic District was certified by the National Park Service in 1974 as a district comprised of late 19th and early 20th Century Revival Style historic buildings. Within this district of Revival Style houses and buildings is a small enclave of structures, constructed … in the mid-20th Century, which retain aspects of the distinctive International Style influence of the period. The San Luis Apartment Building was one of these buildings. Although situated within a certified historic district, the San Luis was not listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a single site, or as part of a small International Style District, and would not be eligible for consideration as a National Register property until 2012, when it turned fifty years old.”

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