Built St. Louis > > Vanished Buildings || Historic Downtown > > Marquette Building Annex

Boatman's Bank Building Annex
Later the Marquette Building Annex
Broadway and Locust
Built: 1915
Architect: Eames and Young
Demolished: 1998

Planned as the Railroad Ticket Office Building, this office building was constructed for Ranier Realty in 1915, and served as an addition to the massive Boatmen's Bank Building behind it. Originally 7 stories high, in 1920 it gained an additional four stories.

The Boatmen's Annex was a Chicago School building to the core, with every element emphasizing the vertical - from thin brick piers, to the even more slender decorative columns that subdivided the window bays. It offered a colorful contrast to the solid-white facade of the Marquette, and contrasted beautifully with the rich reds of the Security Building next door. Its street-level details included relief panels and handsome arch-topped display windows.

When the principle building changed names in 1976, so too did this one, to the Marquette Building Annex..

With occupancy rates falling in the 1990s, the Marquette Building(s) were obtained by the city for redevelopment. The annex building was demolished in 1998, to be replaced with a parking structure which was supposed to support luxury condominiums in the renovated main Marquette Building. The condo develoment fell through, and the Marquette would sit vacant for another 8 years before the Lawrence Group finally stepped up to renovate the building as apartments in 2006.

The Marquette Building Annex was a fine building, a viable piece of real estate, and an integral and significant part of downtown's dwindling collection of turn-of-the-century office buildings. It was thrown away with an appallingly casual attitude.

Locator Map

Under construction, 1915. Image from the Washington University Eames & Young collection.

Newly completed, 1916. Image from Western Architect, June 1916.

In the 1990s. Image from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Details of the Marquette Annex, 1998. Image courtesy of Toby Weiss.

The Marquette Annex, 1998, with demolition about to commence. Image courtesy of Toby Weiss.

The building's after-image on the Marquette Building, December 1998.

The replacement garage, 2000.

Demolition underway, 1998. Image courtesy of Toby Weiss.

Demolition underway, 1998. Image courtesy of Toby Weiss.

The replacement garage is an utterly inelegant structure - bland, faceless, tasteless. The northern face juts all the way out to the street, destroying the respectful building line that the Security Building maintains. The garage contrasts abysmally with both of its historic neighbors, lacking any detailing or sense of scale. The only concession it makes to its urban environment is the retail space at street level.

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