Here we go again! Another Mid-Century Modern “Masterpiece” is threatened with demolition, or at least in this case a thorough gutting that leaves the shell of the building, and a huge apartment building will rise in the swath of blacktop behind it. This section of Lindell is a freaking dead zone, by the way, and why wouldn’t it be? 150 feet or more of totally inactive space that has nothing going on 99% of the time and an entrance that faces its parking lot in back, which is how most people arrive at this building.
It’s the same story as before: a series of mansions were torn down along Lindell Boulevard back in the 1950s or 60s, and a one or two story building that is surrounded by grass takes its place. A noble organization builds its headquarters, but due to changing demographics and times, its membership no longer needs such a huge building. Or, and this seems eerily familiar, the basement floods due to structural problems. I was actually given a tour of the building years ago and I saw the damage myself.
So what do I think will happen? Well, did you notice I was right about the Optimist building? It all comes down to what the alderman says. The alderwoman for the 17th Ward told the Preservation Board to vote against demolishing the Optimist building, and they did. Word is that the Alderman for the 18th Ward supports the plan for demolishing the Engineer’s Club and constructing an apartment building on that giant swath of blacktop you see above. Want to guess what the Preservation Board’s decision will be…?