Laclede's Landing to Become a Patchwork of Garages & Parks
Vanishing STL has learned that several large St. Louis parking syndicates have teamed up to purchase what remains of Laclede's Landing to build a giant Central Riverfront Parking Facility to replace the Arch parking garage and supply Downtown with parking for eternity. Great Rivers Greenway also learned of this plan,and in response, has snapped up vacant lots and entered bidding wars for parking lots that will be turned into additional park space that will "help provide better connections for people to the riverfront and newly renovated Arch grounds". The parking syndicates were able to get one of the areas oldest National Register historic districts delisted due to the quantity of demolition that has taken place. Laclede's Landing in 1967 when the National Register district was listed. When asked about the need for the giant parking garage facility, a spokesman for the parking syndicates replied that "people have been complaining about parking in Downtown St. Louis ever since that 40 block parking lot along the river was turned into a park with that big shiny thing in the middle of it. We're going to solve this parking problem once and for all". When asked if the garages would support future development above, the spokesman said "We don't know about demand for new office or residential uses. We're in the parking business." The parking syndicates are reportedly in talks with MODOT about building new flyover on & off ramps directly into the new garage complex. When asked about the expense of this, a spokesman for MODOT said "Once the new Musial I-70 bridge opened up, we've been looking for a legitimate reason to keep the stretch of highway that divides Downtown St. Louis from the Arch and the river. The new flyover ramps into the Central Riverfront Parking Facility will give us a great reason to keep this stretch of highway.
Vanishing STL was created to illustrate the continuing loss of irreplaceable architecture from landmark buildings to ordinary homes due to demolition, abandonment and neglect. Often I write about structures threatened with demolition to bring awareness of the situation and promote preservation as an alternative. All photos are by Paul Hohmann unless noted otherwise.