Saturday, January 13, 2007

Beaumont Medical Building - 3716 Washington

Not far from the Olympia, at 3716 Washington Avenue in Grand Center, stood the Beaumont Medical Building. It was built in 1927 and was designed by LaBeaume & Klein. The Beaumont included a feature unusual for the time, an indoor parking garage in the building. The garage entrance can be seen in the photo below between two storefront windows on the left side of the building.

In an act that can only be described as the complete absence of foresight, the Beaumont was imploded in 1997, the same year legislation was written to establish the Missouri Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which became effective on January 1st of the following year. Fast Forward ten years, and large historic buildings are viewed as an important asset to Grand Center, with renovations bring new apartment and condo residents and possibly a hotel
Photo from "Missouri's Contribution to Architecture" published in 1928 by the St. Louis Architectural Club.
The Beaumont not long before it met its doom

Gone in Sixty Seconds. For some better photos of the implosion, check out Built St. Louis
The sites of the Beaumont and the smaller building to the west are occupied today by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Both are great buildings and important ingredients in the revitalization of Grand Center. Both could have been built on vacant land or one of the many surface parking lots around the area, in fact an Ando exhibit several years ago at SLAM showed the original site for the Pulitzer on the site where Channel 9 built a few years later.


DeBaliviere said...

I was a student at SLU when the building was imploded, and I wandered over to check it out. In retrospect, I wish I wouldn't have - we lost a great building that day. There's no doubt in my mind that had Grand Center mothballed the Beaumont, it would now be a great addition to the area, as the Continental is. There's no reason that the Pulitzer could not have been built elsewhere within the district.

Kristin said...

Great work.