Saturday, March 29, 2008
Archdiocese wants to create a "campus" in the CWE
This morning at the CWEA Planning and Development Committee meeting, the architect hired by the Archdiocese of St. Louis explained that the Archdiocese wants to create a "campus" by demolishing the San Luis Apartments at Lindell and Taylor and building a surface parking lot in its place. Yes that's right they used the "C" word! As if that was not bad enough, the next words spewed from the architect's mouth were that the "campus" would make the Archdiocese collection of buildings "not a hodge podge that happened over time"!
WTF! "a hodge podge that happened over time"!!?? uh... most of us call that a CITY! To complete the campus look, for "security" purposes, the surface parking lot would be surrounded by a SLU style black iron fence. So... will they eventually want to fence the Catholic Center, the Cathedral, and Rosati Kain?
The parking lot would have 150 spaces (although about 20 of these would be lost to a request from the CWEA Planning and Development Committee request to respect the Lindell building set back line) as compared to 180 spaces that exist in the 3 levels of structured parking in the San Luis building... not exactly a net gain.
The architect pointed out that the existing apartments that were originally hotel rooms are only 240 square feet. If these were combined to create actual one bedroom apartments, with some two bedrooms mixed in, the unit count could reduce from 226 to about 100. If one parking space were allocated to each still relatively small unit, there would be 80 spaces left over for daily use by staff at Rosati Kain.
A representative of Rosati Kain explained their need for additional parking by staff and students. To gain additional parking without demolition, the Archdiocese could put some parking for students on the large grounds of St. Elizabeth Hall, which is directly north of the cathedral across Maryland. To minimize the effects on the grounds, they should use a product called Grasspave2, which uses interlocking plastic rings in real grass to provide the structural capacity to park on the grass. A double loaded row of parking along the Newstead edge of the property could yield about 70 spaces. The combination of this with excess parking at the San Luis would provide more parking than the current demolition proposal.