Friday, February 10, 2012

Missouri Pacific Building

Slightly outside of the heart of downtown and not really near any major attraction, the Missoui Pacific Building recently underwent a massive renovation. I'm not happy that what was originally intended to be another condo tower was downgraded into a hideous parking garage, fronting the major north-south axis of downtown; but nonetheless, I am glad that the building was renovated, and if it took the parking garage being built to get it done, then so be it. The parking garage can be replaced with a more elegant structure in the future.
Interestingly, it seems the Missouri Pacific Railroad was once headquartered in one of the buildings demolished for the Gateway Mall.
Note that the builders didn't sheath the inside wall of the skyscraper; it seems that in the optimistic days of the turn of the century, people were certain that wall would one day be obscured by a skyscraper of similar height.
If only their optimism had come to fruition, we would have possessed a wonderful block of Art-Deco buildings fronting the civic plaza.
I have to admit that the new windows really make the building look great, even if they're not 100% historically accurate.
The Art-Deco detailing, above on the rampart of the building, and below, in the stunning entrance lobby, are what make this building stand out.
I particularly enjoy how the stone switches to gray on the first floor, highlighting the entrance.
The giant C-scrolls, rife with careful detailing, are a stark contrast to the clean lines of the terracotta white building rising above them.

7 comments:

  1. Yes, this building is totally isolated from attractions. It's two WHOLE blocks from City Hall, and that shameful, unattractive Central Library is across the street.

    I kid, Chris. :)

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  2. 3 blocks from the Peabody Opera House and 3 1/2 from Scottrade.

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    1. I agree with both of you that logically it is a great location, until you're down around there and it's completely dead. Remember, in modern day America if you have to walk more than a block from your car to your destination, it's considered a long distance. Sad but true. Look at shopping malls: part of the reason they're failing is people don't want to have to walk so far from their car to the stores.

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  3. Nice posting of Missouri Pacific Building..

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  4. For what its worth, I worked in the Missouri Pacific Railroad Building from Jan. 1987 until Aug. of 2004 when everything was transfered to Omaha, Ne. The Lobby of the Mo-Pac bldg. was something to see after the Company had the celling cleaned and restored to its original wonder. I haven't been back there since I was transfered to Omaha, but I somethimes wonder what they ever did to that Lobby.

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  5. I used to take care of the old air conditioning units at Mo Pac years ago, and I was told by an "Old Timer" that.......
    The reason the east wall of the building is another color, was that it was to be covered up by an identical building on that side. Due to a severe floods out west in the late 20's or early 30's, caused Missouri Pacific to use money set aside for the new building to be used to rebuild bridges.

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    1. That makes sense, thanks for sharing.

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A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.