Unbuilt St. Louis

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
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Recently, I dug up a box of old newspaper clippings, and I thought it would be fun to start a thread about buildings that were proposed, but never built in St. Louis. I encourage anyone else to add images also. (Thanks to RBB and Moorelander for helping me finally figure out how to post images)



Let's start with the old Mercantile Center. Originally planned to have four office towers plus a hotel, only the 35-story Mercantile Tower was built (now known as U.S. Bank Plaza).

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Later, the May Co. got involved with the middle two blocks of the development area, and proposed an enclosed shopping mall connecting Famous Barr with Stix Baer & Fuller. A 30-story hotel was to be built above the mall:

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After the May Co. dropped out, the Melvin Simon Company from Indianapolis proposed a new version of the mall. Eventually this evolved into St. Louis Center, which has now been converted into the MX (Mercantile Exchange):

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What a coincidence. I wrote up a story earlier tonight About unbuilt St. Louis from the 2000's onward. http://www.buildingstlnews.com/the-blog ... t-st-louis
Fabulous thread idea, framer! How about including some unbuilt East St. Louis?

In 1971, at the request of some of the "community leaders" of East St. Louis, Buckminster Fuller proposed the Old Man River's City project. A full writeup from Bucky himself can be read here, but in short he proposed a housing project of gargantuan scale:

The circular building was designed as a "moon crater", with each level stepped back leading to a truncated cone shape. It's difficult to tell from the picture, but this building was supposed to be 500' tall:

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The inside 'steps' were to be used communally. The outside balcony areas of the building were for the private access of residents.

But that's not all, Bucky being Bucky, he proposed that his crater be topped with a Geodesic quarter-sphere dome "umbella":

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It would have been one mile in diameter, and would have added another 500' to the height of the structure, making the whole project 1,000' tall.

The Old Man River's City project was designed to accommodate 25,000 families, or 125,000 humans.

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Old Man River’s City was intended "to replace the poverty stricken, hopelessly obsolete city of East St. Louis, IL". Bucky specifically recommended that government money not be sought, feeling that interest-saddled debt "saps the local economy for the benefit of banks and other parasitic operators."

-RBB
Woooooow!


Subscribed. Great idea Framer!
wow. that Mercantile complex would have been amazing, and what I assume to be the hotel reminds me of Fermilab:

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I wonder what else we would have lost for it though.
urban_dilettante wrote:wow. that Mercantile complex would have been amazing, and what I assume to be the hotel reminds me of Fermilab:

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I wonder what else we would have lost for it though.
Or the Purina BuildingImage
I knew about Bucky's East St. Louis dome, but I never saw the whole Old Man River project; crazy stuff!
framer wrote:
Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:24 pm

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Oh my! I can't bear to look at the thread. I'm old enough to remember the little boy in me excited about these...too young and naive to know the bitter reality. A million hopes and renderings later, more unbuilt in this city than built.
^ If everything (and I mean everything) in our City that was proposed was built, we would have a magnificent skyline and a very dense look.
I would say one of the most significant project in St. Louis history would have to be the Disney project. That would have transformed us into a destination city, beyond baseball, beer, etc. Even though this is not a skyscraper, it would have been huge. I would prefer that it not be Downtown if built, but would have been a game-changer.

A few recent ones:

The Bottle District would have also been huge.

Even though many were against it, the Riverfront Football Stadium would have been a game-changer for North Riverfront, only because I do not see anything happening there in the very near future. Was it the best use, of course not.

I would have liked to see the Skyhouse built as well. I believe the 2008 bust killed that.

Also, didn't Trump propose a casino on the Riverfront?? I've seen those renderings somewhere.

Not that anybody need pics:

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DogtownBnR wrote: Also, didn't Trump propose a casino on the Riverfront?? I've seen those renderings somewhere.
It would've been where Lumiere is now.Image
chriss752 wrote:
Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:24 pm
What a coincidence. I wrote up a story earlier tonight About unbuilt St. Louis from the 2000's onward. http://www.buildingstlnews.com/the-blog ... t-st-louis
Great minds, Chris...great minds!

BTW, feel free to post images of more recently failed projects on this thread too, if you'd like. I've got lots more oldies to post in the next few days.
^^That trump building would have looked awesome from the East Side and/or the Poplar.

PS_ Awesome thread idea!
Floating condos anchored at the foot of Laclede's Landing. Needless to say, the Coast Guard wasn't too keen on this idea.

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Just like MacGyver had!
chriss752 wrote:
Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:21 am
Or the Purina Building
oh, right. duh. staring me in the face...
The Eastern tip of Downtown Clayton has always been notoriously difficult to develop, for some reason. This project, called "Clayton Towers", was to have two office towers, a hotel, and three condo towers. Note that the old storefronts fronting Forsyth would have been saved. Forsyth is on the right, and Forest Park Pkwy. is on the left:

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Some interesting history in this short article:

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Excavation work was well underway when work was abruptly halted, leaving a massive hole which remained for years; the infamous "Clayton Hole". Today of course, this is the site of The Plaza, the Ritz Carleton, and The Crescent, as well as Centene's massive campus expansion project.
^The architecture aside, it's nice how that plan leaves the existing building stock and pedestrian scale along Forsyth intact.
chriss752 wrote:
Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:34 pm
DogtownBnR wrote: Also, didn't Trump propose a casino on the Riverfront?? I've seen those renderings somewhere.
It would've been where Lumiere is now.Image
Great thread!

Ah yes, I remember this. Weren't there several entries to develop that property including a tall glass tower (35-45 floors?) with a pyramid on top? I used to keep the Post Dispatch articles about these types of projects and I will have to see if I can dig it up.
framer wrote:The Eastern tip of Downtown Clayton has always been notoriously difficult to develop, for some reason. This project, called "Clayton Towers", was to have two office towers, a hotel, and three condo towers. Note that the old storefronts fronting Forsyth would have been saved. Forsyth is on the right, and Forest Park Pkwy. is on the left:

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Some interesting history in this short article:

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Excavation work was well underway when work was abruptly halted, leaving a massive hole which remained for years; the infamous "Clayton Hole". Today of course, this is the site of The Plaza, the Ritz Carleton, and The Crescent, as well as Centene's massive campus expansion project.

Hey Framer - is there a date of publication for this one?
Although I cannot be sure of it yet, this is one of the newest things to join the list. The Tower has since been redesigned according to my knowledgeable friend.
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moorlander wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:17 am


Hey Framer - is there a date of publication for this one?
I'll check when I get home tonight, but I think it was early '80s.
moorlander wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:17 am

Some interesting history in this short article:

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Excavation work was well underway when work was abruptly halted, leaving a massive hole which remained for years; the infamous "Clayton Hole". Today of course, this is the site of The Plaza, the Ritz Carleton, and The Crescent, as well as Centene's massive campus expansion project.

Hey Framer - is there a date of publication for this one?
[/quote]


January, 1980.
This plan would have included three buildings; a 30-story office tower, a 10-story office tower, and an 11-story hotel. You can see just a bit of the second office tower in the rendering, above the parking garage. The hotel would have been across Broadway, out of sight to the right. All three building would have been made of reflective glass and polished steel, with barrel-vaulted roof lines.

Metropolitan Square now occupies the site shown here (looking north down Broadway from Chestnut), and St. Louis Place occupies the proposed site of the hotel.


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Was this plan the original plan for Metropolitan Square and why is Metropolitan Square called 1 Metropolitan Square?


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