Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A New Old Look for the Mercantile Library

At last week's public presentation on the Mercantile Exchange project, Pyramid's John Steffen revealed that the panels on the Mercantile Library building will be removed, exposing the historic original facade underneath. Hopefully the result will be as stunning as Meade Summers' renovation of the old Post-Dispatch building at Olive and Tucker, which had previously been the victim of a similar "remuddling" job.

While the recladding job gave the "building" a cohesive, consistent appearance, it's actually seven individual, but connected, buildings. The interior walls were knocked out to create a single 270,000 sf space. The two most prominent sections are located at Broadway and Locust and Sixth and Locust, with smaller buildings interspersed on Broadway, Locust, Sixth and Olive. Exposing the original facades of the individual buildings will go a long way towards making the area much more visually interesting.

The original facade of the Mercantile Library building at Broadway and Locust.

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