Monday, November 10, 2008

More Merc

I apologize for all the posts regarding the Mercantile Library complex, but that's the beauty of having your own blog - you can entertain all sorts of thoughts!

One of my favorite downtown enhancement projects in recent years is the improvements made to the Ballpark Hilton at Broadway and Market. When the former Marriott Pavilion Hotel was purchased and re-branded by Bob O’Laughlin’s Lodging Hospitality Management, its new owners gave the building a major overhaul.

Most notable among the $20+ million in improvements made to the hotel is addition of an impressive conference center and ballroom with a wall of windows overlooking the Arch and Old Courthouse. The new addition extends all the way to Market Street and wraps around the Broadway side of the building. It’s sleek, blends in well with the original structure and interacts well with the street. The views are stunning as well.

As I was admiring the Hilton recently, it occurred to me that many of its design cues bear a striking resemblance to the Mercantile Library complex a few blocks south. The color of the Hilton’s addition is fairly similar, as are the windows. The corner entry at Broadway and Market is nearly identical to the Mercantile Library’s entrance at Sixth and Locust. So, for a little preview of just how stunning the Mercantile Library complex could look, take a look at the Ballpark Hilton.

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