Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CORTEX Demolishing Buildings Along Clayton Avenue

4145-4257 Clayton Avenue
CORTEX is currently demolishing a group of one and two story factory and warehouse buildings along Clayton Avenue. The buildings occupy are immediately adjacent to the location of a proposed new MetroLink station that could be built just east of Boyle Avenue. While the site is currently owned by CORTEX, according to Phase 2 plans for the life sciences R & D district highlighted by Next STL in May, BJC plans to build a 200,000 square foot building potentially opening next year. Just across the MetroLink tracks, Wexford Science & Technology plans complete a historic rehabilitation of the former Western Electric building at 4250 Duncan.

4145-4257 Clayton Aerial
Most of the complex dates from the 1940's, but according to the Sanborn map below, a brass casting foundry from the Hewitt Manufacturing Company and a wagon house from the Gilsonite Construction Company date from at least 1909. These buildings are thedark grey roofed portions of the complex on either side of the white roofed portion in the aerial photo above.

4145-4257 Clayton Sanborn

4215 Clayton Avenue
Most of the complex facades fronting Clayton Avenue are very non-descrpt utilitarian buff brick boxes with very little ornamentation. The portion of building at 4250 Clayton Avenue has very subtle streamline detailing with a ribbed concrete band running across the first floor windows and entrance canopy. The same detail runs along the heads of the second floor windows as well.

4243 Clayton Avenue
The entrance at 4235 Clayton featured a simple black glazed tile surround that had a slightly Moderne feel. The rest of this portion of the building was completely devoid of ornament.

As of this evening, about a third to half the complex has been cleared. The buildings were clearly in a condition where they could be renovated, but their lack of architectural significance or any obvious other distinction would make them difficult to list on the National Register, which would make them eligible for tax credits. If BJC's new 200,000 square foot building comes to fruition then I would not fret over the loss of these buildings. This is the opposite of the situation that occurred last year at Forest Park Boulevard & Vandeventer, where CORTEX demolished a prominent building that could have been listed and had no clear plan for the site.

4216-4236 CLayton Avenue
Directly across Clayton Avenue from the current demolition site sits this building. Its facade appears to be Mediterranean Revival style (although altered), which is somewhat odd for the building type in an industrial area. The City's property database shows it as two buildings with one half from 1910 and one from 1931. My guess is the east half is older since Mediterranean Revival was not popularized nation wide much until the 1920's. The building is not owned by CORTEX.


Anonymous said...

Hey, my mom works at BJC and you really are being a heartless person. Why do you have to complain about every little thing in the world around you?? Haven't you ever been happy in your life time or are you too busy complaining about things?! I mean, come ON!! You are even complaining about the new buildings!! Why do you call every building a "plain brick box"?? I go to wydown and you called our school that!! I didn't appreciate that much...you should try to have a soul the next time you talk about St. Louis buildings!

powerstrip_generation said...


Did you ever stop and think the reason why he is saying it?: american industry, production, and classic architecture within industrial buildings is nonexistent.

Most trends in new american construction and contracting are cheap, tasteless get is done asap