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"Tillie's Corner" restoration project

8:43 PM, Nov 3, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis, MO (KSDK) -- A St. Louis building could be the city's first African American small business to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

On Saturday supporters were pushing to make that happen so they could restore the area known as "Tillie's Corner."

Lillie v. Pearson, known as "Ms. Tillie, "a widowed mother of five, started "Tillie's Food Shop" in 1948 and owned it for 40 years. The business located at the corner of Garrison and Sheridan was more than just a grocery store, it became a staple in the community.

"Back in the day she was very helpful to everyone in the community, she was a big asset in the community, and this is something we want to continue her legacy," said Carla Pearson Alexander who is "Ms. Tillie's" Granddaughter.

She was at the Missouri History Museum raising awareness Saturday.

Carla and her family are trying to make "Ms. Tillie's" vision of reopening the store a reality but can't without the necessary funds. Carla says it will cost about 750 thousand dollars to fix this corner and time is not on their side.

"We were told that snow and ice if they settle on the building then the building will collapse even ore," said Pearson Alexander.

We won't know if "Tillie's Corner" made the "National Register of Historic Places" until the end of the month.

If you would like to help with the restoration project go to


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