The lost building.
View east circa 2001.
View east, March 2007.
The rude intrusion.
The lost building - courtyard and west wing.
Alley view of the demolished apartments. Though this side is more utilitiarian in appearance, the Modernist corner windows extend here as well.
The surviving south side building, with its now-demolished companion.
This dead-end block of Lindenwood Avenue, at Hampton and Chippewa, long held a remarkable bit of unified urban streetscape in the form of four U-shaped apartment buildings facing each other across the street.
Two in Streamline Deco style still stand on the north side of the street. On the south side were two buildings in a hybrid Deco style that is distinctive, if not unique to south St. Louis. One of these remains, but the other was demolished around 2002 to make way for a Walgreens.
Not even a Walgreens, actually -- just a parking lot for a Walgreens. It seems a tremendously wasteful use of space, even for the car-choked intersection of Hampton and Chippewa.
It's a sad loss from an urban design point of view. This street was defined by gracious, symetrical front entrances, an ordered pattern distinct from the commercial chaos just south of here. Now the chaos has bludgeoned its way in. The pattern of fronts and entrances has been rudely interrupted by the side of a parking lot, weakly separated by a metal picket fence.
The block was a spatial experience, not readily captured on film; with the demolition, half of that experience is gone, the entire concept of this gem of a street obliterated.
The nearby Catholic Supply building was demolished at the same time.
More on the offending Walgreens at Urban Review St. Louis.
View west. The demolished building is at left.
Aerial view - circa 2001. From Google Maps.
Aerial view - circa 2003. From Live.com.
The Surviving Buildings
The remaining buildings are quite lovely. The Streamline pair features rounded glass block corners, round stair towers, and a cream/buff brick facade.
The south-side survivor, like its lost mate, has an underground garage entered via a driveway sunken into the center court. The court continues over the garage entrance, minimizing its visual impact on the building. The garage entrance is lined with stone walls, making it a visual asset -- a sharp comparison with virtually any modern garage.