Granite City Modernist Slipcovers

I’m always intrigued at how downtowns adapted in the 1950s and 60s to the rise of Modernist strip malls and shopping centers in the suburbs.

One of the most common tactics, done in downtown St. Louis, as well as downtowns around America, was the construction of “slipcovers” that modernized the fronts of historic buildings.

Some can be very beautiful, and sometimes, what is even more interesting, is that they are removed when the building is renovated, and the original historic facade is still preserved underneath.


Downtown Granite City has a lot of abandonment, and I hope that there can be more revitalization in the future; most of the business has moved out to “suburban” areas along Nameoki Road.

The Granite City Steel Building is still a landmark in downtown, near the steel mill which is a major employer.

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