By. Chris Stritzel
If you haven't read the first Unbuilt St. Louis post, click here to read it.
Over the past 18 years, St. Louis has seen some proposals come through the pipeline but got stuck and later cancelled due to the economy or funding. In some cases, developers are just sketchy and proposed things that never get done or were just a marketing gimmick to get their way. As seen in the first Unbuilt St. Louis post, many developers actually had strong backings and even defined start dates for the projects, but all featured in the first post were cancelled after the Great Recession took hold. Now, as St. Louis comes out of that dark time, it's important to review the other projects of the past that many may wish were built. This is "Unbuilt St. Louis 2".
Lewis and Clark Library Branch
When the St. louis County Library system began to modernize and condense their libraries in the county, the center of attention was the famed Lewis and Clark Library in Moline Acres. The plan was to demolish the 1960s Mid Century design for a sleek, 21st century design with a cantilevered roof and floor to ceiling glass the entire façade. The plan wasn't supported by neighbors and instead, the replacement design included the stained glass windows depicting Lewis and Clarks Westward exploration. The new library was not designed by Perkins+Will as seen in the rendering above. Regardless, the loss of the mid-century library building is disappointing and shouldn't happen again in the future for the sake of saving these types of structures.
Westin Hotel - Downtown Clayton
Ahead of the Recession, a Westin Hotel as planned for Maryland and North Central in Downtown Clayton. the proposal would've had a neo-art deco flair to it but was ultimately cancelled after neighborhood opposition and the recession. Not to mention the fact it was redesigned multiple times. The project was shelved and will never be seen again. St. Louis architecture firm, Core 10, designed the building and would've been their tallest structure if built. For now, their are no plans for this site or any other plans in Clayton for a Westin branded hotel. To his day, the only Westin in the region remains the one at Busch Stadium in downtown.
MLS Stadium @ 22nd Street
What brought tons of disappoint to Soccer fans in St. Louis and even to those who wished to see the 22nd Interchange disappear. In April 2017, voters in the city shot down Proposition 2 which would've redirected funding from Prop 1 (Metro expansion) to pay for the downtown stadium. It was practically a given that we would've received a MLS team if the stadium was passed by voters and built. Unfortunately, with no one stepping up to either re-propose the stadium to the public for funding or self fund the stadium, this stadium has been put into the "Unbuilt St. Louis" file. But don't fret on the 22nd Street interchange. a plan is underway to redesign the interchange for the NGA and make Jefferson a true interchange eliminating the need for one at 22nd.
Optimist International Site Plans
In 2014, Covington Realty partners of Clayton unveiled a proposal for a 14 floor, 200 unit apartment building at Taylor and Lindell in Central West end. While the project as god awful in design, it would've added significant density to this corner in Central West End. The project was ultimately doomed due to no tax abatements being approved or given. Then, in 2015, Koman group proposed a plan to reskin portions of the existing building while renovating the entire interior of the building, It would've cost $9 Million. While no official reason has been given for this project's failure (which was to start in 2016), we can figure that Koman's project at Euclid and West Pine had something to do with this project never coming to fruition.
At the corner of Forsyth and South Central Avenue, a building by the name of the Montgomery tower would've risen. The 31 Floor, Soloman-Cordwell-Buenz designed building would've replaced the world news building. The residential tower was to have retail at the base, a parking podium and residential units on top of it all. The tower would've also became one of the tallest buildings in the City of Clayton and since the building would've been built on a hill, it would've appeared to be the tallest. Webster Groves based Montgomery Development planned the building but must've had no way to secure financing for such a tall building. Since this project was shoveled, I don't see this one making a return in it's current form anytime soon. Despite Clayton booming with skyline changing projects, this one seems like it will miss out this time around. If the Montgomery Tower were to return, I would expect to see a different design.
City Side @ Park Pacific
When the Lawrence Group envisioned to redevelop the Missouri Pacific Building (now Park Pacific), they planned on building a residential building on top of the parking garage at Tucker and Olive. The garage also was planned to have more color in it than what it does now. The City Side apartments would've added much to Tucker despite sitting on top of a parking garage. Because St. Louis was on fire pre-recession, this project would've only added to the momentum sweeping Downtown St. Louis at the time. Even though it was cancelled, the current parking garage could hold a building on top of it, but I'm not sure. The Park Pacific Building is open though with apartments and office space. The office space is home to stations such as 97.1, 98.1 and 1120 KMOX.
The Beacon in Clayton
In 2016, a 8 floor apartment and retail building with an art deco design was proposed for Wydown and Hanley in Clayton. The name of the projected would've been "The Beacon". Despite it being a beautiful design to fit in with the other buildings in this part of Clayton, nearby NIMBYs shot this one down because of it's size along with the City pulling an RFP for the existing parking lot. The plans were scrapped in Early 2017 with no new plans in the works for this prominent corner just blocks South of Clayton's booming Downtown.
Before Ballpark Village Phase 2 was announced, Koman Group unveiled their plans for the "first Class A office building in downtown in 30 years" in May 2016. The building would've been built on a curved lot in the Cupples District just West of Busch Stadium. Cupples X was to be 5 floors and 120,000SF and cost $42 Million to build. After winning support from the Preservation Board, the proposal went on to be marketed. However, after Ballpark Village Phase 2 was announced in October 2016, this proposal went into limbo but with plans still moving forward. A little over a year later, in July 2017, the project was pulled from plans. It's assumed that Ballpark Village had something to do with it. Koman could still be planning something for this lot, but it is to early to tell. I guess time will decide if a office building is built here.
While there are other projects that I did not cover in this post, there is always the opportunity for another Unbuilt St. Louis post. The main goal of these stories is to show what could've been built in St. Louis since 2000. Do you have anything that should be included? Let me know in the comments and I'll look into it!