Golden Eagle Building
Later the Post-Dispatch Building
Later the Lutheran Building
210-212 N. Broadway
Architect: Major Francis D. Lee
A fairly stock Romanesque commercial office building, six stories high and only two bays wide, of brick with brown standstone trim. The lower two floors were configured for retail, with four floors of offices above. The interiors were finely appointed, with stairs of marble and wrought iron and hallways lined with Italian marble and tiles. Conveniences included steam heating, ventilation, "the Edison electric light", and elevators available to both the offices and stores. (PD Oct 24 1884)
Architect F.D. Lee (1826-1885) was a noted St. Louis designer of South Carolina extraction, raised and schooled in Charleston, where several of his designs still survive. He served as an engineer during the Civil War, helping to develop the torpedo boat; after the war he became one of St. Louis's most prominent architects. The last five years of his life were spent in professional partnership with Thomas B. Annan, with whom he designed a number of major commissions including the lost Merchants Exchange Building and the Bradford Martin Building on Washington Avenue. The Golden Eagle Building would have been one of their final commissions.
The original ground floor tenant was Browning, King & Co's Golden Eagle clothing store, who had occupied a previous building on the same site, destroyed (presumably by fire.) After occupying temporary quarters a few blocks north, Golden Eagle moved into their new home around December 1885.
Not even a year later, a different retailer named When Clothing Store was advertising in the same space. In August 1887, When Clothing closed down and was quickly replaced by Wanamaker & Brown's, an outlet of the great Philadelphia retailer. Wanamakers didn't last long either, announcing their intention to close out their St. Louis business in late 1889.
The clothiers were followed by Simmons Hardware Co., a locally-based chain hardware store which offered everything from knives and scales to bicycles, gas ranges, water coolers, and a variety of other home goods.
In March of 1902, the building became the 4th building of St. Louis's leading daily newspaper, and was known as the Post-Dispatch Building. The paper remained for fifteen years, finally moving its offices out in 1917, when its own new building was completed at 12th and Olive. The Post-Dispatch continued to use 210 Broadway as a printing plant. By 1918, the St. Louis chapter of the Liberty Loan Association was based in the building, part of the Liberty Loan Drive associated with World War I.
Plans for a 40-story tower on the building's site, intended to connect the taller buildings on either side of it, were announced in 1931, but never came to fruition.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod purchased the building in 1947 and remodeled it for their use, renaming it the Lutheran Building. The renovations included installing a Modernist slipcover at the street level, modern style metal entry doors, a fantastic stained glass window over the entry, and a finely appointed chapel inside. The Synod moved into their new home in 1951, staying there until 1973 when they moved to more modern quarters.
The building was vacant in 1977 when new owners decided to demolish it, along with its two larger neighbors, to be replaced with a parking lot. 6 years later, the St. Louis Place office building opened on the site.
The Lutheran Synod's chapel doors were salvaged, and are on display at Concordia Seminary's Concordia Historical Institute building.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Building, 210-212 North Broadway - 1902 photograph from the Missouri History Museum collections.
Postcard photograph circa 1903, looking north up Broadway. From the HABS collection; original here.
The building in a 1970s Globe-Democrat photograph. The image ran in a news item announcing the impending demolition of the building and its two neighbors.