St. Louis University’s request for permits to demolish the Pevely Dairy buildings is off Monday’s agenda of the city’s Preservation Board but that does not mean SLU is abandoning its effort to raze the historic complex.
A university spokesman said today that seeking a delay for a hearing on its request for demolition permits gives SLU more time to present its case to the city panel. SLU has said it wants to replace the Pevely complex with a building for its SLUCare physician’s practice. (STLtoday.com)
Part of me doesn’t trust that the issue won’t be decided at today’s meeting. But, it’s quite possible the staff will indicate the issue will be on the December agenda.The main problem I have is SLU’s false claim the historic structure is in the way.
Given the history of Saint Louis University these past two decades the Pevely building and smokestack aren’t in the way of a new building. No, they are where SLU President Fr. Biondi wants Â grass and a fountain. Trying very hard not to use a few choice expletives!
Biondi hates urbanity, or maybe he just doesn’t know what makes a good city. The SLU campus is very pristine and in the center, interesting, But the edges are dead zones due to all the fenced lawns created by Biondi. Intended to make the area safer, SLU policies suck life out of the area to the point the sidewalks are nearly vacant, which isn’t safe. People create safety.
The smokestack and building at the corner, with the rooftop sign, are the two elements that should be saved. The warehouse elements in the foreground (above) should be replaced, just not with lifeless iron fencing with lawn. Â New medical buildings can be built around & embracing the old. The smokestack could be the centerpiece of a courtyard. The architectural possibilities were explored during a recent design charrette:
After a thorough discussion of the siteâ€™s dimensions, SLUâ€™s extensive landholdings in the area, and the universityâ€™s probable needs, participants subdivided into four groups. Each focused on a different approach, including converting the corner building into doctorsâ€™ offices with a larger modern addition, adapting it into market-rate housing and ancillary facilities for the medical school, finding additional on-site locations for new buildings, and generating an overall site plan to connect this corner to the rest of the university. (SLU Says It Canâ€™t Reuse the Pevely Buildings; Local Designers Beg to Differ)
I look forward to seeing the many varied solutions these teams developed.
We must resist SLU’s efforts to destroy both Grand & Chouteau corridors. Biondi has already done a number of Grand at the main campus and the medical campus but hope remains for Chouteau and eventually Grand can be urbanized again, largely by Â building over Biondi’s lawns.
Where SLU has replaced walkable urban buildings with acres of fenced lawn we can build new 1-2 story “liner buildings” to recreate the walls of the urban street. The SW corner shouldn’t be destroyed, liner buildings can fix the anti-urban SE corner but two such corners would be a disaster.
The NE corner is a suburban fast-food chain and the never urban NW corner is being cleared for more dead SLU grass. Yawn.
The Grand viaduct is being replaced and the MetroLink station getting rebuilt. The #70 Grand bus is Metro’s busiest and the #32 MLK bus travels up and down Chouteau & Manchester. If developed right, Grand & Chouteau could be a great pedestrian environment. Chouteau is important for connecting Lafayette Square & Downtown Â to The Grove.
My guess is Biondi has surrounded himself with yes men that tell him he’s done a great job with the campuses. Well, on the chance he’ll read this post: