Monday, August 17, 2009

Revisiting the 36 Year Old Parking Lot

In June I did a post about the demolition of the Buckingham Hotel, later known as the Ambassador.  Since its demolition in 1973 the site, which fronts on Forest Park alongside a distinguished row of hi-rises, has remained a surface parking lot. Lindsey Derrington who provided me with some photos for the original post has dug up some great old postcards of the Buckingham from the collection of Landmarks Association. 

There was brief hope once in 1986 that this lot along with the perpetually vacant Koplar Properties lot that a large development would bring proper definition to this important corner of the Central West End.  A rendering was produced and published in the West End Word showing twin 30 story towers rising from a low-rise building base occupying the full extent of both properties.  The development would have contained a hotel, offices, a cinema, retail and condominiums. While the architecture was typical 1980s, post-modern including some really bad mansard treatments at the top of the towers, the buildings would have brought a sense of completion to the stretch of Kingshighway along the east edge of Forest Park.
Rendering from the Days and Nights of the Central West End

Like many tower proposals over the years, this one went no where and this prime Forest Park frontage remains parking lots today.  Soon the Central West End will have yet another blank parking lot at the corner of Lindell & Taylor complements of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  Only time will tell if this space sits empty for 36 years or more.

7 comments:

Brian said...

What a loss.

At least I'm glad the 80s project never got built. I hate twin towers for some reason.

Alex said...

I really like twin towers - nice examples in Louisville and Cincinnati, but damn those things are ugly!

Anonymous said...

Those are almost as ugly as the one that OPUS proposed for Euclid & Taylor.

john w. said...

Euclid and Taylor are parallel.

STLgasm said...

I disagree! Those towers would've been a fine addition to the big city streetscape of Kingshighway. This city desperately needs an infusion of glass. The design looks a little dated, but styles are always changing (The base needs the most help in my opinion). We can only hope that a bold proposal will surface (no pun intended) when the market improves. Who wouldn't want to live on St. Louis' grand "Central Park West"?

Brian said...

I hate the P&G towers in Cincy and those Churchill Downs-inspired towers in Lulville too, Alex!

Jenifer said...

This city desperately needs an infusion of glass...
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Jenifer
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