906 Olive Street
Built: 1902, 1905
Architect: Eames and Young
Like the nearby Wright Building, the Frisco Building's 13 stories feature a strong expression of vertical piers, reflecting the Wainright's influence. Massive ornamental brackets at the cornice stem from more traditional decorative styles. Like the Lincoln Trust before it, the building has a heavily embellished cornice, which is covered with dozens of terra cotta brackets featuring garlands and lions' heads; a row of smaller lions' heads marks the roofline. The facade also features shield emblems with the Frisco Railroad's F and F*S initials, ornamental cartouches at the spandrels, and abstract carved inlay patterns. Squared-off column capitals cap each pier with a faintly Prairie Style look and visually support the cornice; additional lion heads adorn these capitals. Eames & Young would move toward a less heavily ornamnented style in their run of skyscrapers in the next few years (including the Wright, the Liggett, and the Third National Bank.)
Shortly after it was finished, the Frisco had an addition tacked on to the west. Though identical in style, these additional 6 bays marred the building's original symetry - where before two wings were balanced around a shallow center recess, now one wing is twice as long as the other. Today the annex is easily identified through the difference in weathering and coloration.
The building was constructed for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad, more popularly known as the Frisco.
The building suffered declining occupancy during the 1980s but remained more than half-full in the early 2000s. Renovation is ongoing.
National Register nomination form
A short-lived view of the Frisco's northern facade in 2005, with the debris of the Century Building in the foreground.
Pre-1905 colorized postcard, showing the original size. As built, the Frisco Building had a symetrical and orderly design, and shows strong kinship with the lost buildings of Real Estate Row.
Post-1905 photograh, showing the additional 6 bays added to the west. Postcard view.