The first article was written in 1978, surely not marking the invention, as it is, of brick theft in St. Louis, but perhaps marking a point in time when the issue had reached a level of public awareness as to end up in black and white in the newspaper of record. After 1978, the exodus of people and brick continued. There were approximately 460,000 residents in 1978. There are fewer than 320,000 today. The second article appeared in 2010. What if anything has changed? Where does St. Louis go from here? Two weeks from now, the community is invited to engage in a conversation about vacancy, our community and the future of our city. Open/Closed will feature topics spanning suburban vacancy, historic preservation, institutional responsibility and neighborhood safety, asking what's next? What can our community do so that in 2042 we're not still reading about how St. Louis is being dismantled?
In St Louis Even the Bricks Are Leaving Town – NY Times, 1978
Can You Steal a Whole Building? Thieves Cart Off St. Louis Bricks – NY Times Brick Theft 2010