The day has arrived: On next Monday, June 22, the St. Louis Preservation Board will consider the demolition of the DeVille Motor Hotel (recently the San Luis Apartments) at 4483 Lindell Boulevard. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has asked the Board to conduct a preliminary review of its plan to demolish the mid-century motel and build a surface parking lot. As a preliminary review, the issue is not tied to an actual demolition permit. However, if the Board grants preliminary review, the city's Cultural Resources Office must approve the demolition permit (after any stipulations placed on issuance have been met). If the preliminary review ends up with a denial, the Archdiocese will have to return to the Preservation Board with a new plan.
While some have said that this is a "done deal," that is not true. The Preservation Board can block the demolition next Monday. However, your help is needed -- the Board seeks direction not only from the applicant and preservation professionals, but from the wider public. Central West End residents especially should chime in.
I should also note that those who don't particularly like the DeVille but loathe the urban design travesty of a surface lot on Lindell Boulevard will be best served by board denial of the current proposal. Once the parking lot is approved, the idea of a new building on the site is at the Archdiocese's discretion. Don't hold your breath.
Please send your written comments, no matter how brief, to the Preservation Board by submitting an e-mail to Board Secretary Adonna Buford at BufordA@stlouiscity.com. You might consider copying your letter to Alderwoman Lyda Krewson (D-28th), who represents the DeVille site and whose leadership on this matter would be helpful.
You can also send a letter via postal mail to:
c/o Cultural Resources Office
1015 Locust Street, Suite 1200
St. Louis, MO 63101
If you would like to present your comments in person, the Preservation Board meeting is at 4:00 P.M. on the 22nd at 1015 Locust, Suite 1200. There are several items on the agenda before the San Luis, so the meeting may be long.
Everything you need to know about the issue is online at No Parking Lot on Lindell!.