Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Concealing the Future St. Louis Centre Garage

As I mentioned in my last post, I am eager to see a rendering of the redeveloped St. Louis Centre.

One thing I'm curious about is how the two Locust Street entrances to the property will be addressed.

In particular, the southeastern entrance is set back from the street and faces an open plaza (see picture above). With a parking garage going into the southern half of the former mall, there really isn't any reason why it would need a formal entrance plaza. This space could easily accomodate the construction of a new building, which would help to conceal the garage and add density.

Is there any reason to leave this space open?


Daron said...

it occasionally fills up at rush hour with people waiting for their bus.

The plaza isn't really needed so long as there are reasonably wide sidewalks. If the city matures though and density inceases, people waiting for buses can be a huge issue.

In Seoul, (many many times more dense than St. Louis) people waiting for buses clogged the streets so bad that the bus stops were moved to medians in the middle of the street to improve sidewalk traffic flow. It also made buses faster and roads easier to cross.

Plazas are also nice for allowing better views of surrounding buildings. If there's a building of merit nearby, then there should be a space for pedestrians to stand and gawk at it.

Alternately, it could be a pocket park if a few trees were added and an outdoor performance stage were added or something like that. Then it would need regular programming, buskers, and such.

As is, you're right. The plaza isn't serving any great purpose. Moving the building closer to the street and putting several storeys above it would be considerably more useful to the city.

Am I the only one that thinks St. Louis Centre is something of an historic building that should just be renovated and kept in tact as a monument to sillier times? I know I'm older than it is, but looking at it always fills me with weird nostaliga for the hopes of a previous generation.

Well, you're right. You're right.

Brian said...

You're right, it seems like the plaza on the Washington side fills up with people waiting for the bus, but I rarely see anyone at the plaza in the picture above (at Sixth and Locust), and I walk by it at various times throughout the day.

Anonymous said...

Retail will be at street level all the way around (except for parking access/egress). So, corner locations could have two story storefronts. If a restaurant located on the corner, they could spill out onto the plaza for outdoor dining.

Daron said...

that's an excellent point. a plaza on the corner could certainly allow for two corner shops.