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Bookworms Mourn as Rock Hill Book House is Demolished: Photos

bookhouse1.jpg
Photos courtesy of Michelle Barron
A bulldozer demolishes the Book House's old home in Rock Hill.
Every day Book House owner Michelle Barron drove past the shell of her old Rock Hill storefront wondering, "Will today be the day they tear it down?"

Tuesday, she got her answer. As she drove past in the morning, construction crews were already halfway through demolishing the 161-year-old home that once housed a bookstore beloved by St. Louis County readers. The two-story gothic revival house was torn down to make way for an EZ Storage.

"It feels like something died, it really does," Barron tells the Daily RFT. "I haven't let myself get upset yet. There are a million workmen here today painting and dry walling."

bookhouse2.jpg
No more Book House.
Barron is pushing to open a new storefront in Maplewood next month. She's already at least $50,000 over her budget.

See also: As Construction Costs Mount, Book House Owner Michelle Barron Launches Kickstarter

"We're going to get it done, we're going to get it open," Barron says. The soft opening is scheduled for February 10. "It's like building a house from the inside out."

bookhouse4.jpg
This is what the Book House used to look like.
But before the new store opens, Barron says, her family, friends and loyal customers are mourning the destruction of her business' former home. Tuesday night, she went to the now-vacant lot and lit a candle.

"That whole house has been more of a home to me than any other place I've been," Barron told Daily RFT in July when it first seemed likely it would be demolished. "I'm really sad to leave it."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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21 comments
Chris Vangel
Chris Vangel

I'm an Illinois guy and I'm sorry I missed this place. Yet another landmark destroyed. Anything that survives 161 years should be preserved based on principle alone! A business in tatters & fighting for survival for what? A place for people to put junk they don't need and don't want to keep at Home. These actions lead me to believe eventually all heritage in St. Louis will be destroyed. I didn't like it when the Arena came down. Then it was The Parkmoor. Then Busch Stadium. Now this store. It truly is a shame. One by one, old things that make the area special, things that are nowhere else are being destroyed for no good reason. If you don't know where you've been, how can you know where you're going?

Jess R-hart
Jess R-hart

Totally haunted too, ever go in the basement?

Angi-la Red Cloud
Angi-la Red Cloud

i got very sad when i drove by tonite, on my way home from work

Cynthia Huesman
Cynthia Huesman

So sad. Rock hill has been taken over by chain retailers.

Connie Metter Costello
Connie Metter Costello

Patty Farrar Klebolt -- it was a cool little bookstore. Wasn't it supposed to be haunted?

Patty Farrar Klebolt
Patty Farrar Klebolt

Connie, I grew up a few blocks from the bookstore. It's so sad that it was torn down, such a waste of Rock Hill history....

Wendee Boling
Wendee Boling

This was my grandmother's home and business years ago. I grew up running around this house and my love of books started here. So sad to see it gone

Homer K Blua
Homer K Blua

Ill be at the new opening sad I only bought one book from the old location it was a new favorite to me

wump
wump

considering this was the only cool building in rock hill; can we just bulldoze the whole town now?

wump
wump

what a shame, rockhill used to be so great... hahahahahahahahahaha


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