Why Preservation Law Can Make A New Downtown Tower A Better Building

By on December 19, 2017

From NextSTL: On Monday, the Preservation Board will consider granting preliminary approval of demolishing a historic building owned by the St. Louis Community College at 300 S. Broadway in favor of a new high-rise apartment tower. There’s much that is opaque about the affair, and hopefully the meeting will witness the developer presenting more detail. For now, the Cultural Resources Office (CRO) staff has prepared a recommendation for conditional approval that offers a starting place for adjudication.

CRO admits that the Isaac Taylor-designed building is High Merit, but recommends approval so long as conditions – including an actual construction permit – are met. This is a reasonable calculation, using the city’s preservation ordinance to compel a careful substitution that increases density and prevents another downtown crater (smaller than the Bottle District or Ballpark Village crater, on par with the Cupples 7 crater). The last time the Board favored a new residential building over protected historic buildings, instead of a SkyHouse at 14th and Washington the city got an asphalt parking lot.

Read more.

About Tom Finan