Two Architects Reimagine a Former Telephone Exchange Building in Carondelet

By on March 5, 2018

From St. Louis Magazine:  Sue Pruchnicki and Tom Peterson are transforming the century-old space into their home and studio.

Pruchnicki and Peterson, both architects, wanted a home that would support their many hobbies: a place large enough to comfortably host their dinner parties, and plenty of room to paint, draw, garden and weld. When the couple’s search for the perfect space led Peterson to a former telephone exchange building in the Carondelet neighborhood, he saw his dream come to life. Pruchnicki, meanwhile, needed convincing.

“She didn’t want to come see it,” he says.

“I kept seeing bankruptcy,” adds Pruchnicki.

Soon thereafter, Pruchnicki caught a segment on the radio about the regrets people had at the end of their lives, and its message moved her to rethink her ideas about the building: “We’ve always said we wanted to do something creative, so let’s try it.” she told Peterson.

The building’s architectural elements, like its brick exterior and terracotta details, captivated the couple. The massive open spaces inside might have intimidated some, but these architects saw endless possibilities.

“When we say we live in this building, most people say, ‘What?’ But it makes sense to us,” says Pruchnicki.

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