Bill Clinton Loves This Downtown St. Louis Bookstore, and You Should Too

By on November 13, 2017

From The Riverfront Times:  Who’d have thought that one tiny St. Louis bookstore could entice the former leader of the free world to stop his motorcade and do a little shopping?

The AIA St. Louis bookstore (911 Washington Avenue, Suite 100)  downtown apparently had such power over President Bill Clinton earlier this month. Visiting the region to tour health and science projects supported by the nonprofit Clinton Foundation, Clinton asked his team to pull over in front of the St. Louis chapter of the American Institute of Architects so that he could pick up a few items for himself and for his grandchildren.

Michelle C. Swatek, executive director for AIA St. Louis, speculates that Clinton was drawn to the shop because of his familiarity with the Washington, D.C., chapter during his time in the White House. Kathleen Bauer, community director for technology incubator T-REX, which owns the historic Lammert Building that houses AIA St. Louis, tells RFT that Clinton was “pumped” to visit the store and took photos with a number of building tenants.

And Clinton, a design aficionado who has given keynote speeches at national AIA events, obviously knows a good thing when he sees it, as the AIA St. Louis bookstore is a gem that attracts thousands of tourists, even if it’s often overlooked by locals. Focusing on architecture and design, its ever-changing Washington Avenue window display commands attention with shiny metal replicas of the Gateway Arch, modern mobiles dangling from white branches and cardboard puzzles of world landmarks. Inside the shop, there are even more treasures like books, toys and home goods that celebrate the built environment.

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