Update: Looking back now as of January of 2021, I quite frankly don’t know why I was so worked up about the demolition of the San Luis. It really was not an attractive building–it was actually quite mediocre and dated–so I don’t blame the Archdiocese for tearing it down. In fact, I have a great relationship with the Archdiocese nowadays, and many members of its staff help me on a regular basis. I do hope that one day that the parking lot is replaced with a higher use.
Much to the local preservationist movement’s chagrin, months of talking to the Archdiocese have seemingly proven to have been unsuccessful in convincing the Church to change its mind on the demolition of the San Luis Apartments. On June 22, the Preservation Board will hear testimony on whether the building should face the fate of dozens of other prominent Mid-Century Modern buildings in the city.
Even if you think the San Luis is ugly, the idea that such a prominent street such as Lindell will begin to looking like nothing more than Clarkson Road or Manchester Road is frightening. The Central West End does not need more parking, it needs more residents who can walk to the various businesses arranged conveniently around the city. If you think cities cannot thrive without ample parking, you obviously don’t get out much; the largest city in America, New York, is the cultural heart of the United States, if not the world, and there are less surface parking lots in Midtown Manhattan than in downtown St. Louis. This is a city, not a campus, and if the Archdiocese wants wide open vistas, it should move to St. Charles County.