Famous Barr Department store, parent company Mays Company was a pillar shopping center downtown St.Louis.With over 20 floors in the Railway Exchange building, it was the busiest shopping paradise in the region.
Then a few years later in 2005, after being in St.Louis for almost a century.Macy’s stepped in and took over the space and eventually Macy’s closed the downtown St. Louis store and as of today threats are made to close more.
But that is history not worth repeating, my story is about that big massive building still standing.The Railway Exchange Building which stands over 21-stories tall and looks like a terrible replica of an abandon art gallery.
Well before current mayor Tishaura Jones won a seat as the first black woman in charge of the city.This mammoth property sat, wasting away in its own despair.
I spoke with a contractor last year about this building and he stated that there were roofing issues and massive flooding from damaged plumbing.He also stated there were some problems with the ownership of the building.
All of that may be well what could be.But still this building is an embarrassment to the core of the business district.
I can’t believe any one would want to renovate anything around this despicable building.Once a thing of beauty now the back yard for vagrants and squatters.
Did I mention the walkway to the old abandon garage over head?It is deplorable with graffiti and smells of urine.
How can anyone any wealthy person or city official just sit back and continue to allow this repulsive building to exist?I thought about a quote from the classic cable series ‘The Soprano’, “Just light a match”.
Just kidding..I just hope they get it together or this eyesore will keep a stagnant part of downtown ‘it is what it is.’
Top 5 things to do with this property:
- Turn it into condo, apartment and hotel mix
- Tear down the bottom 10 floors, make it an atrium and the next 14 floors can be offices for non-profits or small businesses
- no. 2, but the next 14 floors can be condos, apartments and hotels for students
- Street side shops on the ground floor, offer incentives to developers and make the building an art gallery
- Tear it down and build a 40-story high rise and attract a bunch of start ups in the area. Or entice Square/Block to move the rest of their headquarters to St. Louis.
Whatever is going on, I pray that I live to see progress as the Jefferson Arms blocks away on Tucker, is finally about to get renovated once again.
Railway Exchange Building
600 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63101