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Monday, November 20, 2006

Ten More St. Louis Buildings Headed for the National Register

To be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, nominated buildings and sites must be approved by certified local governments and, most importantly, state historic preservation offices with their review commissions before being sent to the Keeper of the National Register at the National Park Service. In Missouri, our commission is the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which meets quarterly.

Its most recent quarterly meeting was this past Friday, November 17, in Jefferson City. I am pleased to report that the following St. Louis buidlings were unanimously approved for submission to the Keeper (preparer's name in parenthesis):

- American Brake Company Building, 1920 N. Broadway (Melissa Winchester and Julie Wooldridge, Lafser and Associates)
- Carondelet School, 8221 Minnesota Street (Melissa Winchester and Julie Wooldridge, Lafser and Associates)
- Falstaff Brewing Corporation, Plant No. 1, 3644-3690 Forest Park Boulevard (Melissa Winchester and Julie Wooldridge, Lafser and Associates)
- Koken Barbers' Supply Company Historic District, bounded by Ohio, Texas, Sidney and Victor streets (Mary M. Stiritz)
- Laclede Gas Light Company Pumping Station G, 4401 Chouteau Avenue (Doug Johnson, Landmarks Association of St. Louis)
- Robert E. Lee Hotel, 209 N. 18th Street (Michael Allen, Landmarks Association of St. Louis)
- Royal Tire Service, Inc., Building, 3229 Washington Avenue (Karen Bode Baxter)
- Steelcote Manufacturing Company Paint Factory, 801 Edwin (Karen Bode Baxter)
- United Shoe Manufacturing Company Building, 2200-08 Washington Avenue (Karen Bode Baxter)
- William Cuthbert Jones House, 3724 Olive Street (Michael Allen, Landmarks Association of St. Louis)

Unfortunately, the following nominations did not receive approval from the council:

- General American Life Insurance Company National Headquarters, 706 Market Street (Melissa Winchester and Julie Woolridge, Lafser and Associates) -- tabled
- Ramsey Accessories Manufacturing Corporation, 3693 Forest Park Boulevard (Matt Bivens, SCI Engineering) -- motion to approve failed by vote of 3-6

These two buildings presented significant challenges despite histories that clearly make them eligible for listing. The General American building, completed in 1977, is less than fifty years old and therefore exceptional significance must be proven for listing. The council felt that the current nomination does not make the case strongly enough. The Ramsey building is sheathed in stucco that covers its historic features, and the council wants to see the stucco removed greatly before listing. Expect to see these two nominations revised and considered at the next council meeting in February 2007.


Anonymous said...

A little surprising about the Ramsey Building, eh? Some of the stucco has been removed, exposing one of the original windows underneath, and I would guess that once it's been entirely removed, the building will reveal itself to bear a close resemblance to the Aquinas Institute next door - a building that underwent a similar restoration.

Anonymous said...

The two "unblessed" buildings were both the subjects of considerable discussion at the local Preservation Board, too. Each had vocal proponents and opponents.

To me, the nomination of the GenAm building made the clearer case: a great architect built one (good) building here.

The Ramsey Building's nomination depended on an understanding of the historic context of St. Louis as the Other Detroit.