Ready for the National Register?

In November 2008 the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office gave a very promising response to an eligibility assessment submitted for the San Luis. These assessments are somewhat like mini-National Register nominations used to determine whether a building qualifies for listing or not. The San Luis could potentially be listed for significance in a number of areas, including transportation and architecture. The fact that the Bel-Air West, another mid-century modern motel a block east on Lindell (now being renovated by the Roberts Brothers into a Hotel Indigo), is likely headed for the National Register bodes well for the San Luis and sets a definite precedent in its favor. Should the Archdiocese allow the San Luis to be nominated, its successful listing would enable a given developer (or the for-profit real estate branch of the Church itself) to obtain state and federal historic tax credits for the building’s rehabilitation. This kind of financial relief makes the San Luis’ preservation and reuse entirely feasible – the forty-five percent’s worth of tax credits would completely negate claims that the building’s renovation is cost-prohibitive.

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