Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book House Gets New Home in Maplewood, Demolition Likely for Historic Rock Hill Site

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:16 AM

click to enlarge Michelle Barron at the Book House. - JENNIFER SILVERBERG FOR RFT
  • Jennifer Silverberg for RFT
  • Michelle Barron at the Book House.

The Book House has found a new home -- but the historic property the business is leaving behind in Rock Hill is likely to face demolition.

"It breaks my heart to see that building go down," Book House owner Michelle Barron tells Daily RFT. "That whole house has been more of a home to me than any other place I've been. I'm really sad to leave it."

But there's good news. Barron, a tenant in Rock Hill for decades who first learned of her eviction this spring, signed a lease yesterday on a new property in Maplewood, which means the Book House will stay alive.

See also: - Book House: Will Developers Demolish Historic Rock Hill Site For Storage Facility? - Book House: Shop in Historic House Gets Eviction Notice, Storage Site in the Works - Archive Bookstore: Independent Shop Will Likely Shut Down, Owner "Heartbroken"

"It's going to be amazing," she says of the shop's future home at 7352 Manchester Road in downtown Maplewood. "It'll take a lot of work to get it all up and ready, but when it's all open, it'll blow you away."

She adds, "The location cannot be better."

The Book House. - VIA
  • via
  • The Book House.

The saga of the Book House's relocation first began in April when word spread that an out-of-state developer was looking to buy the Rock Hill two-story gothic-revival house that dates back to 1853. The historic site, on 9719 Manchester Road, made it on the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation's annual list of most endangered properties in the state, and for good reason.

The development company recently submitted formal plans to Rock Hill officials to tear down the building and construct an "EZ Storage" facility in its place. Most recently, Barron -- who first got an eviction notice in May -- has been disputing with her Rock Hill landlord Rex Stahl, but she was able to get an extension on her lease through September.

click to enlarge Block in Maplewood where Book House will relocate. - VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • via Google Maps
  • Block in Maplewood where Book House will relocate.

Now, she hopes to operate a clearance sale while simultaneously moving to the new site in Maplewood.

"I really think we'll be an asset for the neighborhood," she says. "Everybody is saying how much they can't wait for us to move in. Even when we were there putting signs up in the window, twenty people were stopping by. So many people are excited about us coming to Maplewood."

click to enlarge An EZ Storage facility like this could replace the Book House. - VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • via Google Maps
  • An EZ Storage facility like this could replace the Book House.

The Book House will launch an online fundraising campaign this week or next, she says, noting that it will be around $40,000 to $60,000 to move and set up the new location. She hopes to open up the Maplewood site in the fall and have the store in full swing by the holidays.

It's bittersweet, she says, noting that she even lived full-time in the Rock Hill property for about five years.

"It saved my life," says Barron.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

Tags: , , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation