Clemens House: Can Paul McKee Rehab Historic North Side Property? (PHOTOS)

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The property, Allen says, has been declining for years and if McKee wants to save it, "he needs to get on it quick."

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Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

In our interview, McKee brushes aside concerns from preservationists, saying he has spent more than $1.5 million to stabilize it. "Could I spend more? Sure. But unless you're willing to give me more money to spend on it, it's stabilized now as best we can."

He adds, "It's important to us. We're doing everything we can."

McKee says that his original plan involved senior-housing apartments on the site and that he may continue on that path.

With the Missouri Supreme Court ruling in his favor -- allowing him to access financing that a lower court had ruled out -- McKee says he'll begin working to get the necessary approvals from the city once again. He laments that he faced a three-and-a-half-year delay due to the court battle, which he says had to be resolved before he could move forward.

"We're at square one again," he says, noting that he has to get his larger redevelopment plan reauthorized at city hall before he can break ground on projects within the NorthSide Regeneration effort (which covers about two square miles of the north side).

Clemens-House-8.jpg
Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

By late fall, he says, he hopes to finish getting city hall's authorization so he can begin work in winter and early spring.

There are dozens of historic properties he plans to rehab and restore, McKee adds. "It's not just Clemens."

Still, in response to concerns from preservationists, he says, "That's their focus. Preservation to us is just a piece of what we do. It's not the main course.... It's the integral of all of this stuff that's important...jobs, housing, historic preservation...new development."

McKee says, "It's got to be seen in the total environment of the whole north side."

Below are more photos of Clemens House, all courtesy of Hannegan.

clemens-house-1.JPG
Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

clemens-house-2.JPG
Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

clemens-house-3.JPG
Courtesy of Bill Hannegan

Continue for more photos of Clemens House.

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12 comments
lakerealtor
lakerealtor

How old are these photos? I personally did a lot of historical research on this project. I worked for one of the developers brought on to do this project in 2009-2010, to turn into senior housing and a museum. The chapel was in ruins at that point, but Paric had done quite a bit to stabilize the main house structure. The entire Northside Plan is really quite remarkable & inspiring, and I for one give McKee my full support. I've seen his plan & think if the general public could hear and see it too they would have a much different opinion. He is working hard to bring more $, jobs, schools, and corporations to the St.Louis area that will benefit the whole city in the long run. I think it's a shame that the legalities of the situation have prolonged the progress for this long. I have no doubts that McKee is strongly passionate about preserving the historical attributes of the Clemens House! It saddens me to see these comments as though McKee is heartless and has forgotten about this gem. I'm sure that is far from the case & can't wait to see what he does with it.

hanneganlounge
hanneganlounge

No one did  1.5 million dollars of work on the Clemens House as claimed in your article. $10,000 maybe. Look at the pictures! For 1.5 million dollars Clemens House could have wrapped in plastic and saved if from the ravages of the elements.

Una McGarry
Una McGarry

I just mentioned this to someone tonight, not much has happened lately

Alex Carlson
Alex Carlson

McKee is a powerful, singular blight on St. Louis, and City Hall lets him run rampant. Shame on all parties involved.

Sarah Kathleen
Sarah Kathleen

Of course not. Paul McKee has let that beautiful property rot beyond any kind of reasonable repair. I wish people were paying more attention to what this person is doing and, more importantly, is not doing, to kill north city. Shame on you, Paul McKee.

Alex Carlson
Alex Carlson

He'd be "saving" it from himself. So, no. It will continue to go to ruin if left in McKee's hands. Much like the rest of the North side he owns.

Lynn Pevey
Lynn Pevey

First he needs to do something with all the land he's acquired over the last 15 yrs and then once he does that then people might trust him...til then NOPE!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

Heres an idea, take it over through eminent domain and then hand it over to someone who can actually DO the job.  Make into a museum or something since there is not a lot of that on the north side.

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