Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wash U Proposes Demolition of Retail Building on Skinker

Washington University is proposing demolition of this 1936 Art Deco retail building on Skinker The building does a great job of screening the giant sea of parking beyond from view on Skinker.

The building lies just north of another Art Deco building at the northeast corner of Delmar and Skinker that Wash U is proposing to renovate for student apartments above retail space. The proposal for both the renovation, which would include the addition of vertical wind turbines on the roof, and the demolition of the one story retail building is on the agenda for next Monday's Preservation Board meeting. Preservation board meetings are held on the 12th floor of the 1015 Locust Building and are open to the public. Attendees may address the Preservation Board to give their opinions about each proposal.

The Corner Building, as Wash U is going to name the project (I do not believe the building had a name previously) is just west of the Pin-up Bowl and Joe Edward's new Moonrise Hotel.
A rendering from Trivers shows the proposed wind turbines on the roof which would be visible on Delmar and would possibly be lit at night. No, they are not going to paint the middle of the building purple, instead the rendering depicts colored LED lights which would light a portion of the facade, adding some color to the building at night similar to the way the recently renovated Woolworth's building at Grand and Olive is lit.

Personally, I think both the wind turbines, which will generate a portion of the electricity for the building, and the LED lights proposed will both be interesting additions to the building, and go well with the eclectic mix of neon signs such as the one at the Pin-up, and at the Pageant.

Demolition of the building to the building to the north, however is completely unnecessary. The parking area north of the one story building would provide about 24 spaces, which for the 16 apartments proposed, would be more than adequate. 1.5 dedicated parking spaces per unit is higher than the zoning requirement, higher than most if not all existing Wash U apartments in the area, as well as private condo and apartment buildings. If a developer were building a new apartment building with 10 of 16 units being one bedroom, they would not provide anymore than 1.5 spaces per unit.

Art Deco detailing of the one story retail building complements that of the larger corner building.
Close-up of the terra cotta detailing
The sea of parking that serves the east end of the Loop
Plenty of parking exists north of the one story building to serve the apartments, and the larger parking area will serve the retail.
A candy store in the one story building that is being kicked out, and is moving to the county.


Anonymous said...

sad that they (wash u) cannot save the building
it is very sweet and seems to
compliment its bigger brother

Brian said...

If anything, that little retail building needs another building immediately to its north!

Anonymous said...

It should remain.