Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Back to the Drawing Board for the Hotel Indigo


The Roberts Brothers’ architects – Killeen Studio, who has done some great work all over St. Louis – have gone back to the drawing board and come up with a revised rendering for the entrance to the proposed Hotel Indigo on Locust.

The new rendering is a significant improvement over the original – an open driveway that would have been horrible for the streetscape.

That said, it’s still not an improvement over what’s there right now – a three-story, Tudor-style building dating back 118 years(!!) at 921 Locust and a four-story building at 917 Locust that dates back almost 100 years. According to a recent article in the Post-Dispatch:

Steve Roberts said the company considered incorporating 921 Locust into the hotel until they discovered its wooden beam construction of 1916 doesn't comply with modern earthquake-resistant building codes.

Sorry, I’m not buying it.
Another obstacle was 921's floor levels, which are mismatches for the adjoining 917 Locust, which was built in 1913.

I would refer to 555 Washington for an example of how to combine adjoining, mismatched buildings into a single interior space. It can be done with a little creativity. I think Killeen Studio could pull this off.
Roberts said the design might still change slightly, depending on the requirements of state and federal building preservation officials who control the tax credits the brothers plan to seek for the project.

As a poster on Urban St. Louis pointed out, should tax credits really be administered for a project that involves the demolition of two historic structures? The Preservation Board has already approved the project, but I implore the Roberts Brothers two save these two small, but important structures and either incorporate them into the hotel design or preserve them and renovate them for other uses.

Couldn’t the hotel just take up the St. Louis Design Center building?

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