St. Charles, MO
St. Charles County
As the first capital city of Missouri, St. Charles is well known for its history, picturesque Main Street, and popular festivals. Many historic buildings have been restored and now contribute to a thriving business district. Unfortunately, many of the historic structures in St. Charles lack the proper maintenance and this puts them at risk. Just north of the heart of the downtown area is the Frenchtown Historic District. While no less historic, the area has seen less of the commercial success as its sister district and many of its structures could benefit from a bit of upkeep. The Short Boarding House at 1425-1427 North 2nd Street is one of these structures. Vacant for over 25 years, neglect has taken its toll and issues include a hole in the roof and crumbling brick. A 1940s duplex on the rear of the lot is in the process of being rehabilitated. It is hoped that the owners plan to take the same care with this much older and more prominent structure that faces the street. Similar situations can be seen to the south, radiating outward from the central tourist area on Main Street. A lack of simple maintenance can quickly lead to more disastrous consequences like structural damage. Larger preservation issues within the city have become more prevalent as efforts have recently been made to undermine the authority of the Landmarks Board which is responsible for assessing potential changes and impacts to St. Charles’ historic resources. These efforts include expanding its membership to add additional seats for underqualified individuals who would support the interest of politics and development, not preservation. While the city council rejected disbanding the Landmarks Board and ruled against its expansion, these events show that the historic resources of St. Charles might face adversity in the future beyond neglect and deterioration. Nominators hope that this listing will not only encourage all historic building owners to address maintenance issues, but also make the general public more aware of the issues facing the Landmarks Board and St. Charles’ future outlook towards preservation.