Yesterday as I was riding back to our Downtown office from a site visit at the Metropolitan Building, I noticed that this small building on Olive Street was being demolished. At first glance, the building looks pretty tired, but with an intact cast iron storefront, and brick above that could easily be stripped, it is easy to see a lot of potential in this little building.
The building was part of a lonely row of three buildings (now two) between sitting between a gravel parking lot and a vacant lot on the the block bounded by Garrison and Cardinal a few blocks east of Compton.
This section of Olive looking east is almost devoid of life with more vacant lots east of Garrison and nothing but vacant land and a parking lot on the south side of Olive, which is still grasping for identity fifty years after the urban renewal clearance of Mill Creek Valley.
To the west the area is also isolated, but just east of a block of Olive between Compton and Cardinal that has seen an amazing comeback in the last 10 years as part of the Midtown Alley district. The building is being demolished by its owner the St. Louis Treasurer's office, which is apparently combining the parcel with the gravel lot next door to build a 72 car parking lot. With a parking lot directly across the street owned by SLU and abundance of street parking all around, I'm finding it very difficult to see why they needed tear down a decent building with great redevelopment potential another 25 feet of asphalt?