Downtown East St. Louis Buildings

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects in Southwestern Illinois, including East St. Louis, Belleville, O'Fallon and Edwardsville.
http://builtstlouis.net/eaststlouis/index.html



- Broadview Hotel

- Majestic Theater

- Murphy Building

- Spivey Building

- Elks Club / Public Library



When the site was last updated (although I think it's been a while), these buildings were still sitting empty (the Majestic Theater's link isn't working for some reason, but when it was working it stated the site was vacant).



Does anybody know of any current plans to restore these buildings? How much does the lack of Illinois Historic Tax Credits hurt their chances?



Thanks.

The last time I was in Downtown East St Louis, the base of some of those buildings were used for retail. I dont know if it's still that way.

Some of the bases are still used for retail, some are boarded/caged up. That's the only thing they're used for though, some of them even got trees growing out of them.

This needs to be moved to the "Metro East" forum
According to Michael Allen, the Spivey building is coming down. St. Clair County is paying to demolish it. What a monumental loss-- physically and symbolically-- for the entire metropolitan area. There goes East St. Louis' golden opportunity to retain any semblance of civic pride and distinction. I am sick about it.
stlgasm wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:54 pm
There goes East St. Louis' golden opportunity to retain any semblance of civic pride and distinction.
i think that ship sailed a long time ago. it's only distinction these days is being the shittiest, most abandoned, most crime-ridden place in the US. i honestly don't see how Murphy or Spivey could have been saved. and i doubt the Majestic will be around much longer. nobody wants to be there.
^There's gorgeous structures there, I just have no idea how to get the investment to do anything at all. The commercial finance system would never back anything there. Illinois won't or can't. (It's not Chicago, so does Illinois even really care?) I can't envision any kind of regional agency that would have the capacity to tackle something like that. It would require a federal intervention and . . . they just don't care. Utah, Wyoming, New York, Florida . . . nobody not here gives a rat's patootie. I will weep for the Majestic. It's a great little theatre. The Spivey building has real potential. Some of that stuff is no further gone than things were in Midtown in St. Louis. The Sun was in awful shape. Abysmal. The Continental was a near run thing. I really feel like something could have happened. But . . . how do you get the money? Somebody needs to pay. We dumped all our sins over there: pollution, crime, license of all sorts. Nobody regulated anything. And now the people left behind when everyone else ran are paying.
On Twitter, Building St. Louis is saying "HOPE IS STILL ALIVE; More information coming soon" regarding the Spivey Building in East STL. Not overly optimistic, but you never know.
DogtownBnR wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 11:09 am
On Twitter, Building St. Louis is saying "HOPE IS STILL ALIVE; More information coming soon" regarding the Spivey Building in East STL. Not overly optimistic, but you never know.
Hope is still alive even though it is a small bit of hope. East St. Louis and the County don't have money set aside yet for demolition so it gives some time for a developer to buy it. I know of one who made an offer today.
Majestic Theater:

Image

Close up of the tile work on the facade, which includes some pre-WWII era swastikas:

Image
If there were a way to pick this building up and move it across the river, i wish they would do it. It would be a no brainer to rehab anywhere in the central corridor.

Ive never understood how they allow plants to grow in the fascade. Seriously i will donate a can of roundup to the city of ESTL.
STLEnginerd wrote:If there were a way to pick this building up and move it across the river, i wish they would do it.
If only there were someone passionate about both St. Louis and engineering who could develop such a solution.
You know, East St. Louis is, in fact, the eastern end of the central corridor. That's why things like the Majestic and the Spivey building are there. Think for a minute about the implications of what you're saying and what it means to the people there that you want to steal away what's left of their history and put it someplace more prosperous. What does it say about us as a people? As a region? Can no one find the heart to help the people that are there? Do we care about anything other than buildings? (Mind you, I love that theatre. But there are more important things.) To be honest, if we want our city to thrive the most needful thing is to help the least fortunate among us.
I’ve often wished Downtown Cairo had been boxed up and rebuilt in Old North or near North DT as a historic preservation / infill initiative. Instead it was bulldozed, flattened into the ground and hauled off to landfills. Now it’s a wasteland.

It’s a fantastical thought, along with moving the Spivey or Majestic Theater buildings. But if the alternative is outright demolition I’d take relocation any day.
wabash wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:59 am
STLEnginerd wrote:If there were a way to pick this building up and move it across the river, i wish they would do it.
If only there were someone passionate about both St. Louis and engineering who could develop such a solution.
haha true and also wealthy enough to make it happen for little to no ROI. I won't lie i have looked into the engineering required for such an effort. The hardest part about this buildingis all the flyovers to get across the river. After that you have to get it off the highway before you hit an over pass. Best hope is to probably salvage the fascade and new build all the stuff behind it. Even that i would consider a huge success. That facade is a work of art.
One of the world's leading house movers is located in the St. Louis area. They've moved lighthouses and all kinds of crazy stuff.

But yeah, the river is a big obstacle.
^ might be more feasible to deconstruct the facade and re-erect it on a new structure? most of the time the thing behind the facade is a pretty standard brick box. question is: is it possible to deconstruct such an intricate facade without destroying it?
^I'm sure Larry Giles could do it. Would look great in his museum, too.

https://www.curbed.com/2017/5/9/1560055 ... re-history
^Can no one find the imagination to even consider saving it where it is?
Let’s not confuse imagination with money.

There’s plenty of us who have ideas or the desire to see these buildings saved... but (to my knowledge) none of us have millions of dollars to spare or the connections to realistically save these buildings.
symphonicpoet wrote: ^Can no one find the imagination to even consider saving it where it is?
Saving it where it is doesn't really mean saving it. You would have to seethe recovery of ESTL as a whole to imagine this building not falling back into the cycle of abandonment the day after the ribbon is cut.

ESTL as a functional urban district. Now that takes some imagination.
My favorite idea of East St. Louis is a University of Illinois at East St. Louis.

But the state has no money. So they system has little free money. And I imagine Southern Illinois University Edwardsville would balk at the notion.

So like most of the ideas we have for ESTL, it's just a pipe dream.
“It was a wonderful building, at one time,” Kern said. “And I think developers have a lot of good ideas — until they stand on the ground floor and look up and see the top floor.”
That's . . . kind of telling. :(
symphonicpoet wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:29 am
“It was a wonderful building, at one time,” Kern said. “And I think developers have a lot of good ideas — until they stand on the ground floor and look up and see the top floor.”
That's . . . kind of telling. :(
They should really invest in new innovations like this. It's all the rage in multi-story rehabs these days!

-RBB