Ira L. Cooper Home on Enright Avenue

     Ira L. Cooper was the first black Sergeant and Lieutenant in St. Louis Police Department history.  Appointed to the St. Louis Police in 1907, Ira Cooper surmounted the racial restrictions placed on him to solve some of the most sensational crimes in St. Louis’ early 20th Century history.

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Ira L. Cooper Residence at 4404 Enright Avenue – Courtesy of Google Earth

     When Cooper died on February 15, 1939 at 61 years of age, the college educated Cooper lived at 4404 Enright Avenue in the exclusive Lewis Place neighborhood.  Cooper was only one of four officers to hold a Scotland Yard ID outside of England and the only black officer period.  Today, his former home sits vacant and condemned.

     According to Geo St. Louis, the home was built in 1892.  In September 2012, inspectors found 22 violations.  However, the city condemned the building in June 2012.  Today, it sits vacant as it has been for two years.

     The building looks structurally sound from the outside.  It is also privately owned instead of being a Land Revitalization Agency (LRA) building.  Both factors may save the building from a date with the wrecking ball.

    If the connection with Lieutenant Cooper is strongly established, it may help save this magnificent building.

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