While buildings dictate the character and feel of an area, the streets of a city and their layout play an equal or greater role in how a city feels, its walkability and scale. Standing in the middle of St. Charles in the block where the garage/ballroom now stands, the view east shows how St. Charles Street was first interrupted in the mid 70's with the construction of the Mercantile Bank Building (now US Bank) (more on that block in the next post). The two blocks east of that were taken in the 80's for St. Louis Center, the One Financial Plaza building (formerly Edison Bothers) and another parking garage. The faces of all of these blocks today suffer from a major lack of vitality that is crucial to the success of any urban center with maybe the only exception being 10th Street Italian and the recently opened Time.
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