Merchant Laclede Building, Revisited

The Merchant Laclede, or Merchant’s Laclede Building, depending on whom you ask, was another of the historic skyscrapers in the financial district of St. Louis, often forgotten in favor of the more famous Chicago School buildings to the west. It was built in 1886.

Merchants Laclede Building. 408 Olive Street. Photograph by W.C. Persons, ca. 1925. Missouri Historical Society Photographs and Prints Collections. NS 29385. Scan (c) 2005, Missouri Historical Society.

It’s been simplified over the years, losing its pediment and conical roof on the tower, probably due to changing tastes, but it’s still an interesting building and a great relic of another time. It’s been successfully renovated into a hotel.

The smaller building visible in the historic photograph is the William Stickney Cigar Building, which is also from 1886; it’s now stripped of its mid-Twentieth Century cover, resulting in a simpler version of the original since some of the Romanesque Revival decoration had been ruined by the earlier modification. See it before the cover was removed at Built St. Louis.

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