A lot can change in six years.
That's especially true for the historic and traditional brick buildings that cover St. Louis, where just six years can mean the difference between rehabilitation and total ruin.
Photographer Eric Fogleman, a St. Louis native, returned home ten years ago and noticed how quickly real estate changes in the city. He started recreating old shots of neighborhood buildings six years apart, juxtaposing dilapidated buildings with their futures as empty lots, reworked buildings or, sometimes, just the same brick structure six years older.
As a student at St. Louis Community College's building inspection program, Fogleman says he can spot a building that's too worn down to survive much longer.
"I can look at the thing and say, 'This sucker's going to fall,'" Fogleman tells Daily RFT. "I can smell it. St. Louis is pretty ripe."
See more photos of St. Louis buildings six years later on the next page.
Fogleman says he often takes photos of street signs or addresses when he's out snapping pictures as a way to remember where he was. When he spots a building that's newly torn down or rehabilitated, he finds a photo from the past and recreates it.
Fogleman rails against the landowners -- or "coked-up banker guys," as he calls them -- who let buildings fall to waste.
"We just let rotten shitholes blossom right on our riverfront," Fogleman says. "Sometimes it would be better to just let a field grow than to let a human mess with it."
Fogleman spots a lot of his potential photo subjects while driving around the city.
"I take a lot of the same tracks," he says. "I'm like a deer."
See more photos of St. Louis then and now on the next page.
Not all the photos show rebirth or ruin. Six years later, this property stays stagnant, but a sign on the brick promises new condos coming soon.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.