Support Grows to Save Lewis & Clark Library

Categories: Architecture

Neil Chace, Jeremy Clagett and Jon Hagar of ModernSTL's proposed addition to the Lewis & Clark Library
The proposal calls for a complementary addition to join the original library building to the north. If anything, the library site does not suffer from a small lot; the new wing could easily fit in the corner of the property, still providing the very generous parking lot plenty of spaces. Likewise, the relative simplicity of the original building materials could carry forward into the new addition. The group plans to present its proposal at the County Library's next board meeting on Monday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. at library headquarters in Frontenac. Concerned residents should attend and voice their opinions about the future of the library.

The proposed ground plan by ModernSTL for Lewis & Clark expansion.

I know I could lecture all day about the architectural merits of this building, and I still wouldn't convince everyone of this building's value. Many people simply do not like modernist architecture, and I know many people would still prefer to see this library demolished. But I do know what really matters to most people is how the government spends its tax dollars. It is not fiscally responsible to demolish a functional and structurally sound building merely in the name of constructing a new building for its own sake. In an age where it's often cheaper to buy a new television than to fix a broken one, saving the Lewis & Clark Library will show that at least a beloved library is not disposable.

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

Location Info


St. Louis County Library, Lewis & Clark Branch

9909 Lewis & Clark Blvd., North St. Louis County, MO

Category: General

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Ryan Paluczak
Ryan Paluczak

For the record, we can't keep historical things unless they can turn a profit. It's a shame that's really how we think. If it's not turning a profit, get rid of it, it has no value...

Ryan Paluczak
Ryan Paluczak

Yeah! Money, money, money, and more money. Because money is all anyone cares about. Yay money....

Edward Hecker
Edward Hecker

Do tax payers like the look of a decaying buildng enough to pay for an empty non-tax producing property for the time it takes to find a use for it that generates tax revenue? And, if yes, then for how long?


Clean well lighted place. 50 years ago as a child banished to the intellectual and economic desert of north county this library was an oasis providing intellectual nourishment and a window to the world that wasn't the narrow minded confines of north county. I was bookish and spent a great deal of time at this library. The only thing I recall fondly of that era. It is of course doomed. To be replaced with a sterile concrete windowless institutional unremarkable box. More is the pity. North county's delusions of glory did not make it through the sixties.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

make it into a homeless shelter with wifi

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