1015 Locust, Suite 1200
St. Louis, Missouri 63101
314)622-3400 Fax (314)622-3413
The board convenes at 4pm but could vote on the San Luis at any point throughout the meeting. If you are not able to attend, PLEASE send a letter on the building’s behalf to Preservation Board Secretary Adonna Buford, Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, and Monsingor Gardin. Feel free to use the sample letter below, and make sure to note if you’re a resident of the Central West End. Don’t underestimate the impact of your voice!
Also distribute our newest flier throughout the Central West End and across the City!
I am writing to voice my support for the preservation and reuse of the San Luis Apartments, formerly the DeVille Motor Hotel, at 4483 Lindell Boulevard. The proposed plan for the building’s demolition and replacement with a surface parking lot is flawed for a number of reasons:
The creation of a parking lot would create an anti-pedestrian void on one of the Central West End’s most prominent corners and mar Lindell Boulevard’s famed high-rise streetscape. Moreover, it would go against the strict design guidelines of the Central West End Local Historic District which forbid such surface lots in the interest of maintaining the neighborhood’s architectural density.
Demolition would deprive the neighborhood of a beloved landmark, designed in 1961 by New Orleans architect Charles Colbert. This celebrated Modernist was awarded AIA Louisiana’s Medal of Honor in 2007; how ironic would it be for us to demolish his only building in Saint Louis just two years later while the rest of the South is undergoing a renewed appreciation of his life’s work.
Contrary to prior claims, the San Luis’ adaptive reuse is entirely feasible.
Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office has acknowledged the building’s importance and deemed it eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, meaning that it would be eligible for state and federal historic tax credits. These tax credits would make the building’s rehabilitation economically viable, just as they have with hundreds of other seemingly “hopeless” buildings throughout Saint Louis. There is no reason why the San Luis should not also be part of the city’s overall revitalization.
I strongly urge the exploration of alternate plans for the corner of Lindell Boulevard and Taylor Avenue which would retain the San Luis as a vital part of our community. The presence of the New Cathedral and archdiocesan headquarters are a major part of the Central West End’s diversity and vitality, yet its current plan to replace the San Luis with surface parking is incredibly short-sighted and will irreparably damage neighborhood’s unique architectural fabric. There is surely a better way to insure that the needs of both the archdiocese, and the Central West End, are met.