Why Chouteau's Landing Matters: The Slow Decay of One of St. Louis' Oldest Neighborhoods

Categories: Architecture

Powell Square

NaffzigerPowellSquare.jpg
The Demolished Powell Square
Now completely demolished, Powell Square represented St. Louisan's divergent views of abandoned buildings. Many saw the structure as a blank canvas that could have drawn talented artists from around the country. Others saw it as an ugly eyesore, sitting within arm's length of the intersection of I-55 and the Poplar Street Bridge. Serving a variety of functions over the years, including pharmaceutical and bag production, the site is now a grass covered field.

Servco Warehouse

NaffzigerServco.jpg
The now destroyed Servco Warehouse
Heavily damaged by a fire in early December 2013, the Servco warehouse was at least partially occupied at the time of its destruction. Built in two phases, in 1902 and 1908, as the neighborhood transitioned from residential to industrial, its loss is just another strike against a long suffering corner of St. Louis.

Chris Naffziger writes about architecture at St. Louis Patina. Contact him via e-mail at naffziger@gmail.com

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25 comments
Carey Uxa Morgan
Carey Uxa Morgan

Love this new column! Been reading St. Louis Patina for awhile and am glad to see these perspectives shared more widely.

Devin Campbell
Devin Campbell

Tear it all down for a walmart! (I jest). No walmarts in city limits, please.

Scott McGlothlin
Scott McGlothlin

Convert into a nightlife area with clubs and restaurants

danknoll15
danknoll15

I'd love to live in one of the bldgs

Edward Hecker
Edward Hecker

Because, Almas, cities are not open-air architecture museums. They are first and foremost economic engines that require cutting edge functionality out of their real estate and infrastructure in order to remain economically competitive. These buildings represent the functionality of over a century past; not the functionality of today and tomorrow. Take away the city's ability to compete, and there will be no more city.

Almas Farmhouseantiques
Almas Farmhouseantiques

Your comment is disgraceful St Louis is one of the greatest cities ever built Why would we tear down super buildings and put in Mush board junk?

Edward Hecker
Edward Hecker

The church and Crunden Martin. Tear the rest down and redevelop into something that complements Soulard and the Blues Bar strip. In a healthy city, buildings are NOT forever.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

People need to knock off the crocodile tears for the Powell Square demo. At the end the 'building' was a fucking skeleton that added nothing to DT except to advertise how shitty some of the city is to visitors. Glad the piece of shit is gone. The only way that story could have had a happier ending is if the city rounded up the worthless ghetto ass tagger 'artists' and chained them to the building before they fired up the bulldozers. Now THAT would have improved this city tremendously.

Denise Acsay
Denise Acsay

St. Mary of Victories was where I was married in 1972.

jbradhicks
jbradhicks topcommenter

Back when the city approved tax credits for the developers of Laclede's Landing, wasn't this where the housing component of the project was supposed to go?


And look how that turned out. But never mind that, the Ballpark Village developers promised us housing development alongside their commercial development, and I'm sure that this time they'll keep their word. Right? Yeah, right.

Jason Green
Jason Green

I lived close to there not too long ago. I never really concerned myself with crime. You really have to be asking for it most the time in that part of the city to have any problems. Schools are a huge problem though to attract families.

Bill Bernickus
Bill Bernickus

Unless families with children want to live there most neighborhoods die off. Obviously some rare exceptions/success stories. Crime problems too.

Jason Green
Jason Green

St Louis has redeveloped a lot of old neighborhoods and can't fill the vacancys. That being said I like the history of old neighborhoods

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I do not ever want to give up one inch of St. Louis. I wish more investors would see the potential in these areas. Young people ARE working on this. They are moving into the city, despite the crime, and trying to make a difference.

Nathan Wambold
Nathan Wambold

oh, and if there is a need or desire, I'd be very interested in photographing these buildings (as an architectural photographer as well as an architect) :)

Nathan Wambold
Nathan Wambold

...sorry, but I didn't see the tour date and time, or is this an online tour?

Shawn Emily
Shawn Emily

I was working at the top of the Arch when the Servco fire happened. Between the fire itself and the news choppers at eye level, the guests had plenty to talk about.

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