The Chase in 1994: vacant, boarded, and dark.
The Chase in 2007: filled with life and light.
Gallery: Day, 2001
The Chase Hotel
The Chase Hotel stands at the entryway to the Central West End, the corner of Lindell and Kingshighway, with the luxurious green of Forest Park across the street. Built in 1922 to the designs of architect Preston Bradshaw, it was long a major fixture in St. Louis society. Over time it absorbed two buildings along Lindell to the east (also designed by Bradshaw), as well as adding a 1940s penthouse, containing the locally famous Zodiak Room. Over the years it was joined to the neighboring Park Plaza, and the complex went back and forth between hotel and apartment use. But by 2001, it had stood empty and unused for about ten years.
In 2001, the old hotel roared back to life, thanks to a $35 million renovation by the Kingsdell partnership.
The old hotel has been converted to apartments, but there's much more to it than that. The adjacent Chester Apartments have been joined to the complex and are revitalized as well. The roofline windows have been completely replaced. The old rooftop Starlight Roof and Zodiac Room have been restored and are now available for events (I have yet to photograph these spaces, but will keep trying!) A new five-screen theater brings a long-absent amenity to the Central West End. Five restaurants serve food within the complex; and the former Tack Room restaurant has been converted to house retail services. And the main lobby has been restored to its previous elegance.
I cannot say enough good things about this project. Inside and out, the buildings have been tastefully and carefully renovated. This is what urban renewal is all about.
You can see more of the details at the Chase's web site. Better yet, go and take a stroll through the lobby in person.