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Friday, October 12, 2012

After "P" in Pevely Sign Crashes to the Ground, Preservationists Ask If Work Was Legal [UPDATE]

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge SLU did not mind its "P's," now there are lots of "Q's." - AIMEE LEVITT
  • Aimee Levitt
  • SLU did not mind its "P's," now there are lots of "Q's."

Update: Mayor Slay's office has many of the answers.

Something very strange is going on with the Pevely Dairy complex's iconic sign.

On Tuesday, as a crew worked to remove the "P" in the word "Pevely" atop the old factory building at Grand and Choteau, the huge character got loose from its ropes and plummeted to the street below.

Photos obtained by KSDK show the huge letter smashed on the sidewalk next to a school bus.

Luckily, no one was hurt. A spokesperson from St. Louis University -- the college owns the building and wants it demolished for the construction of a $75 million medical facility -- told the TV station that a rope had snapped. He added that the rest of the letters would be carried through the building when they are removed.

This disaster brought to you by the letter 'P.' - KSDK
  • KSDK
  • This disaster brought to you by the letter 'P.'

But hold on just a cotton pickin' minute! The incident has a lot of folks asking if any work to remove the sign -- even the kind that doesn't result in a 30-foot-high piece of metal sailing through the air -- was legal. Urban preservationists like Jeremy Clagett, the author behind What Should Be STL, battled last year to keep the buildings from being torn down. The war to save Pevely Dairy was ultimately lost in February, with one of the minor consolation prizes being that SLU needs a demolition permit to tear down the office building at Choteau and Grand.

Yet, as Tuesday's accident proves, work has begun on the site even though SLU doesn't have the permit.

"They seem to think they do not need a demo permit to do that work," says Clagett. "There seems to be a discrepancy about whether they had the authority to remove that sign or not."

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