Built St. Louis > > Vanished Buildings || Historic Downtown > > The Century Building

October 2004

The Century Building
Olive Street between 8th and 9th
Architects: Raeder, Coffin & Crocker
Constructed: 1896
Demolished: 2004

Of all the buildings to fall since the Ambassador Building's 1996 destruction inspired the beginnings of this site, the Century is the most important, the most egregious, the most misguided, the most damaging, the most shameful.

For 108 years, the Century Building faced the Old Post Office across 9th Street, creating a grand and diginified civic space, an integral piece of downtown's largest intact historic district. Together with the conjoined Syndicate Trust tower, it was one of the city's largest buildings -- and argueably one of the most beautiful.

But for years, both stood nearly empty, subject to the vagaries of the market, capricious owners with a notable disregard for their integrity as architecture and their importance to the city, and a series of nefarious business deals which finally conspired to destroy the Century.

November 2007

Today, in the place of an elegant, historically and architectually significant building stands a parking garage, unlovingly dubbed "Garage Mahal" by St. Lousians.

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