ESLARP East St. Louis Action Research Project
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ARCH 372/374 Summer 1995
phase II

Sustain:  To prevent from sinking into despondency and uphold structure.

Throughout the last three decades in East St. Louis there has been wide spread abandonment of single-family housing. These abandoned houses regularly fall victim to arson and accidental fire, rendering them unstable and unsafe. There are, however, a great number of houses that have a solid structure and remain viable. With this in mind, infill of the remaining vacant lots on Washington Place must employ sustainable and low-resource construction to halt the spiral of deterioration afflicting the surrounding area.

Instead of using new materials, and allowing the old but still usable materials to merely add to the landfilled solid waste problem, viable structures need to be renovated and re-used and relocated to needed spaces. This uses products from the city of East St. Louis, strengthens its economy, and maintains the style, scale, and proportion of the houses that exist on Washington Place.

structure before and after renovation:

Many of the houses in East St. Louis do suffer from an unstable structure, however, they contain architectural elements and materials that add to aesthetic integrity of the area. Instead of demolishing the structure and allowing contractors to keep and resell the materials, specifically bricks, an established warehouse should be developed to store these valuable materials. This too will add to the economical development of East St. Louis.

Phase II will include:

Washington Place is comprised of primarily single-family residents. To be able to maintain the character of this street it is necessary for it to keep the type of dwelling units it has. As already stated, abandoned structures will be relocated to this street and renovated to maintain the size of the already existing houses. This is also to keep a consistent, large, single-family home community. Residents throughout the East St. Louis area whom are searching for a larger or a more pleasing place to live will be encouraged to move to this area for its atmosphere and safety.

phase II conditions:

ARCH 372/374 Summer 1995

East St. Louis Action Research Project
Refer to the ESLARP mailing address on the ESLARP home page