3842 Olive - Grand Center

What's happening in our built environment.
I noticed there's a fence up around this great old theater building (just east of Vandeventer). Anyone know what's up? Demo? Rehab?

Grand Center used to consider it a priority to save this building, but I haven't heard a peep lately.

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6409469 ... 56!6m1!1e1
dunno and there aren't any permits online. I just tweeted about it so hopefully something comes up, it would be terrible to lose that.... it was the Wolfner Memorial Libary for the Blind for many years, btw, and on the Landmarks 2014 Most Endangered List.

Also, was just informed this and the entire block is owned by Pulitizer Foundation.
If Pulitzer owns this building, then perhaps their engineer found structural problems, similar to what happened to the Bruno David Gallery building (also owned by the Pulitzer). Hopefully the fencing is just to keep people out while they prepare a stabilization plan.
OK, i heard from a reliable source that the fencing is to protect the building from vandals. The current owners have a plan to rehab the building, but nothing public yet.
framer wrote:
OK, i heard from a reliable source that the fencing is to protect the building from vandals. The current owners have a plan to rehab the building, but nothing public yet.


Good! I love that building.
I'd written that place off as a goner years ago. Glad to hear things might go the right way.
This building was originally the Bell Telephone Company and Wolfner Memorial Library for the Blind, not a theater. https://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/nps-nr/05000631.pdf
I believe STLRainbow said as much. Took me a while to even figure out who said it was a theatre. (It clearly wasn't one, just from the architecture.) But given the facade and the neighborhood it's perhaps an understandable mistake. And since it was a library and a school (for telephone and telegraph operators) I wouldn't be surprised if there's a small lecture hall in there somewhere. Anyway . . . here's to hoping someone does something with it soon.
I referred to it as a theater in the first post of this thread; I stand corrected. I do hear, however, that there's a very nice theater/auditorium inside.
BTW, someone has installed a series of temporary sculptures on the vacant lots along this block. If The Pulitzer does indeed own the whole block, perhaps they're behind it?
Now this building at 3826 Olive (next to the Wolfner Library) has a condemned sign on it. Does that mean demo? Anyone know anything?

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6408055 ... 56!6m1!1e1
It looks like 3826 Olive is in fact set for demo. A tap destroy permit was just filed. Olive West Properties (which I believe is just an arm of the Pulitzer Foundation) bought the property back in March, joining up two larger parcels they own on that block. I know there have been plans and rumors of development on the 3800 block of Olive for a long time - hopefully this is not just another demo for the sake of demo, but an indication that something is in the works.
^Yep. That jibes with the rumors I've heard. I didn't want to name any names, but now that the cat is out of the bag...
^ rumors of demo by Pulitzer? rumors of something in the works?
I did see that City Foundry's powerpoint presentation (from back in June, I think?) showed an $80 million dollar project called "Olive West Housing" approximately in that area.
http://www.constructforstl.org/wp-conte ... undry.pdf

And there has definitely been some recent surveying and core sampling on that block. Hopefully the plans include saving the Wolfner.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:35 pm
^ rumors of demo by Pulitzer? rumors of something in the works?
I didn't know about the demo, but I had heard that the Pulitzer was (possibly) behind a new housing project covering most of this block. Supposed to be more upscale, more contemporary; definitely not student-oriented.

Again, I have no inside info, just neighborhood rumors.
This is stupid. And typical for Grand Center.
Any word on the other structures on that block? Will they stay?

I have always thought that block would look great with historic infill using the house up the street and the three story one a block over as models. I am okay with upscale modern town homes though. Something like what has been built in The Gate District.
framer wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:09 pm
I didn't know about the demo, but I had heard that the Pulitzer was (possibly) behind a new housing project covering most of this block. Supposed to be more upscale, more contemporary; definitely not student-oriented.

Again, I have no inside info, just neighborhood rumors.
i see. so maybe Art House 2.0. i'd be okay with these demos if we got some high-quality contemporary housing out of it. though i'll never understand why every last old brick needs to be cleared in order to build new. other places (e.g. DC) don't seem to clear-cut as much, instead incorporating facades into new structures.

to refresh our memories:

Image
cardinalstl wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:58 am
Any word on the other structures on that block? Will they stay?
I talked to the workers who were demoing the water connection for 3826 Olive. For what its worth, he said he didn't know of any plans to demolish the other buildings on the block.
According to this listing, it looks they are now trying to lease the Wolfner for commercial use:

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/20443421 ... -Louis-MO/
umm I love the Wolfner Library building, but before you start asking $12-14 per sqft maybe make the building inhabitable first. You know Windows, doors, etc. Seriously...

BTW I really want this building to become a comedy club for grand center. I imagine the back of the building to be the place where they perform, and the front to be a public bar space. With the college so close and the arts district, I think its an ideal fit for the property. Its on my list of ventures to start when I win the lottery.
^I've had similar thoughts, but I was thinking more of a small punk-rock club, like the old Creepy Crawl.
Demolition has begun on 3826 Olive. It looks like they are currently salvaging architectural elements from the facade.

As far as reuse for the Wolfner goes, I might prefer something like a Half-Price Books over a rock club.