ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Preservationists say if a North County library can’t be saved from a date with the wrecking ball, then they’d like to at least save the historic stained glass windows.
The Lewis & Clark branch of the St. Louis County library, which opened more than 50 years ago, is planned for demolition.
As part of its ambitious capital improvement program, the county library system is set to raze the current Lewis & Clark branch along Highway 367 and break ground next year on a new, state-of-the-art facility.
Michael Allen with the Preservation Research Office says they’ve been unable to convince library officials to keep the structure standing.
“But, there’s this decision to be made still about the windows,” he says. “Saving all versus saving a few, and saving all is definitely in the public interest.”
The brightly-colored panes depict Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea—as well as scenes from their historic trip West.
St. Louis County library spokeswoman Jennifer McBride acknowledges they’ve been approached by preservationists to save the large, colorful window panes.
“We are taking the preservation of the stained glass very seriously,” she says. “We’re very pleased to be working with Emil Frei, who are the original creators of those panels, and they actually installed the glass panels as well.
She says they’re working with the originators of the artwork on the “de-installation and re-installation” of the glass, but the Preservation Research Office is pushing for a written guarantee that they have yet to receive from library officials.
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