Mullanphy Emigrant Home: North St. Louis Landmark Slowly Returning to Glory

Categories: Architecture

Photo by Chris Naffziger
The Mullanphy Emigrant Home stabilization work.
For the next quarter century, the Mullanphy Emigrant Home slipped into a deep slumber. Then, in April 2006, a storm reduced to rubble the entire southern wall of the Mullanphy. Now exposed to the elements, the building suffered further damage. The building was slated for emergency demolition when devoted residents and architectural enthusiasts from both Old North St. Louis and throughout the region stepped in to help.

Photo by Chris Naffziger
An interior doorway of the Mullanphy.
Several benefits and fundraisers later, they raised enough money to act on their hopes in late 2007. The effort to save the Mullanphy Emigrant Home received not just monetary donations, but free labor from E.M. Harris Construction Company and the Masonry Contractors Association. The building, while only months before was perhaps worthy of the honor of 2007's "Best Lost Cause," persevered with extensive repair and stabilization. It has since endured the lashings of countless severe storms, proving that the repairs were solid; the building now needs an investor to buy and complete the renovation, which is currently on hold.

Matt Fernandez of the Old North Restoration Group recently gave me a tour of the building's interior; despite heavy rain and snowstorms, the interior was dry and in good shape. Now, almost seven years later, as the area around Old North St. Louis sees increased investment, the Mullanphy Emigrant Home stands ready for a complete rehab to serve its neighborhood and city again.

Chris Naffziger writes about architecture at St. Louis Patina. Contact him via e-mail at

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