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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bookworms Mourn as Rock Hill Book House is Demolished: Photos

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM

click to enlarge A bulldozer demolishes the Book House's old home in Rock Hill. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHELLE BARRON
  • 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."

click to enlarge No more Book House.
  • 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."

click to enlarge This is what the Book House used to look like.
  • 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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