One of two St. Louis Centre signs still fully lit over the 6th &
Locust mall entrance in 2005. Photo by Claire Nowak-Boyd
Recently I had lunch with one of the developers of the re-construction of St. Louis Centre. I asked what was was going to happen to the the one remaining large sign over the mall entrance at 6th & Washington, and he said that he was not aware that anyone was going to save it. It's twin at 6th and Locust had been destroyed recently as demolition crews began to dismantle the malls exterior.
Having heard that the smaller version of the Lindy Squared mural had been salvaged for re-installation elsewhere, I was surprised that no one had taken notice of the large lighted signs. I contacted the Building Arts Foundation, and they were interested in salvaging it for their collection, but lacked the funds to do so. I then called local artist Bill Christman, who also did not have the means to salvage it. Some individuals who are trying to start a sign museum were also called, but they thought the sign was to "new". Finally I had a friend contact Bob Cassily at City Museum. Surely he would be interested, right? No, he said it should be ceremoniously destroyed.
The entrance and sign at 6th & Locust were ripped out several weeks
ago so that debris from interior demolition could be easily removed.
Like most everyone else, I am thrilled that the hulking sky bridge is now gone over Washington Avenue and look forward to the same at Locust. It is frustrating however that many people do not recognize more recent parts of our lives as being part of history. Even the National Register of Historic Places says that a building should be "generally at least 50 years old" to be considered historic, although they will consider properties that have "achieved significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance". It is convenient for people to say that we should completely forget that St. Louis Centre ever existed. They would rather not admit that we collectively took part in something that was in the end a failure.