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What Brick Thieves Do …

St. Louis brick thieves made national news a couple of weeks back when the New York Times published this piece by  Malcomb Gay.  Of course this story is nothing new to us. Brick thieving is a big part of this project. It would be hard to do a film about St. Louis brick and not touch on this subject. It’s a devastating problem in some parts of the city. We told you earlier in this project that we spoke to Alderman Sam Moore and he is probably one of the few City officials who has long taken this problem seriously. The causes and lack of attention are complicated as most urban problems are. Of course it doesn’t help that the City of St. Louis is in the bizarre position of being one of the few American cities without direct control of it’s own police department. It was taken away by the state as punishment for the Mayors support of the Union during the Civil War over 100 years ago and has never been restored. Not that no one has attempted to reverse this injustice. All attempts have failed–the most recent was about a year ago. So yeah, in some ways in Missouri, the Civil War — a conflict the most of the country put to rest many many years ago, still haunts us.

The damage the brick thieves do is truly devastating. They remove the last hope of ever restoring the grandeur of neighborhoods that once stood tall. Of course they aren’t the reason those neighborhoods became the way they are today to begin with. In some ways they are just completing a process. Never-the-less it’s hearbreaking. Here are some photos we took while out shooting b-roll for the film:

One Comment

  1. Andrew Raimist says:

    This is a great subject. Heartbreaking images. Thanks for doing this important work. I’m looking forward to seeing the film !

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