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  • DevSTL

    Regardless of whether or not this image misrepresents the character of the area, can you honestly say that this is a productive post? Insofar as it is the mission of this site and its editors to create a forum for advancing the dialogue on urban issues in St. Louis, I fail to see how this image and the reductive accompanying caption best enables those who frequent this site to initiate a substantive discussion.

  • Tim Dolan

    It is progress in midtown. Have some patience and a little vision. SLU will build something and people will work there. More people will use the Grand Metro link station. The station will be safer. The Neighborhood will be safer. Think about how good the area around Grand from the Fox to Tower Grove can be. Its not that far off as it is.

    We should be paying more attention to the quality of what is going to be built. I love STL, its buildings and the spirit of Nextstl, but the unreasonable obsession with saving buildings of very little merit is getting in the way of what little economic progress we have( I mean really medical jobs, not CVS jobs. ). Buildings exist to serve people. We love them but they do not have a soul.

    desolate = Cote brilliant. It is not a few blocks on the SLU medical campus that will be redeveloped in the next few years.

    • T-Leb

      Tim, you have summed up a lot of thing I have also felt about this forum/website. But not everything

      • Alex Ihnen

        Hey, not everything on the site is a gem. If you ever agree with everything let me know, because we’re doing it wrong. As noted, I was simply struck by how desolate the image above appears. The discussion here has been alright – happy to take the good with the bad.

    • Alex Ihnen

      No one. No one. No one wanted a vacant building instead of medical jobs. No one. What some hoped for was the redevelopment of a viable building that would add to the residential density of this area and provide housing for SLU students and employees (remember, the SLU student paper and a number of individuals associated with SLU advocated for the retention of the Pevely complex), AND the building of a new medical clinic on adjacent land.

  • symphony musician

    I was at this corner today driving around in awe how so many building could be torn down on such a main thorough fair….and it looks exactly like this… quite sad really…

  • Mark Brown

    This intersection has been deserted and devoid of people for a while now. I think this photoshopped photo and its caption represent sour grapes because the Pevely Building is on its way out of here. This is a smack to St. Louis because the Preservationists didn’t get their way with this building. Your caption mentions nothing about the proposed state-of-the-art surgery center.

    This is a photo that could be seen around the world and you are misrepresenting what’s going on in the photo.

    Shame on you. You should be helping St. Louis – not hurting it.

    • John Blue

      LOL. Same could be said about SLU

    • Alex Ihnen

      The photo isn’t “photoshopped”. It is what it is. I’m happy to take the same photo in two years and see how vibrant this strip has become. Frankly the image could be of many places across our city, Pevely or not. I snapped the photo and only later realized how shocking it is that a major east-west street in our central city looks like this.

      • Mark Brown

        There are many major cities in the U.S. where there are swaths of vacant land in the central core. St. Louis may have more than some cities because of population decline, but this photo could have been taken in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland etc. While more work needs to be done, the Chouteau-Manchester corridor has improved greatly over the years – especially with the absence of decaying industrial buildings. New commercial buildings,restored buildings, renovated storefronts, housing etc. have opened along the corridor. As Tim Dolan mentioned, hopefully it won’t be long before SLU develops the land especially in light of the new bridge. Instead of shooting down SLU for positive contributions to the city, try to work with SLU on the designs for the new buildings that are proposed.

        • Adam

          Biondi has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s not interested in working with anyone, most recently by refusing to engage in any sort of dialogue on the development of the Pevely site. Instead, he threw a temper tantrum to get exactly what he wanted. You’re being naive.

    • Kyle Steffen

      This photo misrepresents nothing. You’re correct, this intersection has been devoid of people for a while now, because of poor planning on the part of St. Louis University and the city. This photo SHOULD be seen around the world and SLU (along with the city officials who allow this) should have to explain it to everyone. Nevermind the Pevely building, what’s the excuse for the entire north side of Chouteau?

      • Mark Brown

        Wrong. The Pevely building went dark because a competitor bought the company and moved operations to Prairie Farms – not necessarily because of poor planning on the part of St. Louis City or SLU. Also, there were useless, dilapidated eyesore buildings on the northside of Chouteau. SLU demolished them. GOOD FOR THEM. SLU is responsible for the safety of its students as well as the perception of safety. If the surrounding area of its campus is abysmal, that doesn’t bode well for the university nor the St. Louis region to attract potential students. When will you all get this!?!?!? The region could lose out on bright minds who elect to attend other universities because they are fearful of SLU’s “dangerous” campus surroundings. A vacant lot near campus is better than a rundown industrial building.

        • TheGate

          And what type of place are “bright minds” looking for these days? Compact, walkable urban places where they don’t have to get in their car every day. SLU is building suburban crap. Grass lots and fountains are not what “bright minds” are looking for. The problem with your view is that it’s black and white. We either have vacant buildings or a new medical building. As pointed out very well on this site, and others, it’s a false premise. St. Louis will continue to suffer if the development premise is simply getting something that is better than what’s there today. You want to know how long many of the buildings in the developing Grove neighborhood were vacant eyesores? Almost 20 years. Having the Pevely vacant for another couple years while seeking reuse is perfectly appropriate. There’s a great quote on this site somewhere that’s something like, “If St. Louis had torn down every building that had been an eyesore or vacant at some point, the entire city would be gone.”

          • Mark Brown

            First, you guys never give credit to SLU for saving other historic buildings. Second, maybe some “bright minds” want a safe feeling and safe looking campus with safe surroundings. Also, an empty and rotting Pevely building doesn’t help achieve this end goal. If the Pevely building doesn’t work into SLU’s plans for its medical campus let SLU do what it feels is best for its campus, students and medicine. SLU doesn’t own the entire city. And no building on its campus is “suburban”. Further, I don’t view the problem in “black and white”. I view the issue with common sense not fed by hyper-emotion and hyper-anger. It’s not about settling either because vacant commercial buildings on Manchester are very different than vacant industrial buildings on Chouteau.

          • Billiken

            ^ I’m hyper-angry with you! 🙂 Tone it down dude. You’re clearly missing a lot of information. If you’re on this site much you’ll see a lot of praise for SLU projects. A lot of people have commented on the hotel on Olive, many alumni have commented that the campus is much, much nicer than when they attended. People like the SLU Law move downtown. Heck, people even like the Doisy building with its acres of grass around it. What’s the problem here? It’s not negative to suggest that something could have been done, or could in the future be done, in a better way. Now in this case, Fr. Biondi made some ridiculous threats and remarks regarding this one building. For the leader of a major university, they were extraordinarily unprofessional. In the end, it’s fine if you disagree with some of the people here, but look a little more and I think you’ll find a lot to agree with.

          • steamship

            That’s funny. It’s like praising a runaway driver for the pedestrians they didn’t hit (though some were hit). Or in a non-analogy, it’s great that SLU has saved some buildings. They’ve also torn down many. They may have even torn down more than any other non-public entity in the city. And when they tear down an historic building, it’s more likely than not going to be replaced by grass or a fountain, not a nicer, newer building.

          • Alex Ihnen

            Ironically, the Doisy research building is very suburban. It’s tall, but it’s set back far from the street and is surrounded by a sea of grass. It’s a neat building, and adds a nice element to the skyline, but it’s most definitely suburban.

        • JPCosgrove

          SLU could have rehabbed all of the “dilapidated” buildings into student housing and leased commercial space to businesses, thus creating a dense, vibrant community that people would want to live in. Instead, they bulldozed them and we have nothing. Huge vacant lots don’t give off the feeling of safety at all. They give off the impression that no one cares about the area and that it’s unsafe.

        • Kyle Steffen

          I said nothing about the demise of Pevely. That ship has sailed. The problem with many intersections in the city like this one, is the fragmented government that spans two city wards. In this particular case, we have two wards and a major institution that is no doubt very important to the city. It is okay for SLU to have some pull at City Hall. The problem is with the execution. It is great that the loading docks on the north side of Chouteau are gone, but what now? It is difficult to envision the possibilities when you have no plans to show, and the research center is a good indication that most of the property will be desolate even if SLU eventually builds there. The research facility is a great building, but it does nothing for the surrounding area. Had it been built in a different position on its enormous site, it could be 50 yards closer to the Metro station, and not so awkward that you can’t build anything around it. I’m sure the new ambulatory/surgery center will also be an attractive building, but if they build it according to their “plans,” walking to the front door will still be a hike. The surrounding area is “abysmal” because of SLU land-banking and blighting entire neighborhoods. The city needs to tighten the reigns on this matter, and — dare I say — take a stand against short-sighted planning like SLU’s medical campus. The argument that “no one else is building here” is complete bull. A vacant lot is NOT better than a “rundown industrial building” because if SLU didn’t own it, it would have been rehabbed (see the original plans for Pevely, and yes, I know economy blah blah) or something appropriate for the site would have been built instead.
          Three spacious lawns and a Captain D’s is still desolate, IMO….and +1 to The Gate’s comment below.

          P.S. If SLU security tells the woman that she can’t dance on the corner anymore, I’m going to be pissed.

        • john w.

          No. You’re wrong. What you SLU defenders don’t seem to realize is that our city streets BELONG TO US. THE CITIZENS OF THIS CITY. The streets of this city are NOT OWNED, NOR CONTROLLED BY SLU. They are OUR streets. If what you wish for is ‘safe’ campus surroundings as you seem to imply are not possible to achieve with urban density (despite the so very many examples in other big, dense cities in this country), then move away. Choose school campus settings that are more form-appropriate to suburban or rural environs, and allow inner-city land to be developed to a standard becoming of city, not a suburb. WHEN WILL YOU GET THIS ??!!!??? You’ll probably never get it.

    • john w.

      No. Shame on you for being so daft. If you wish a physical environment that is suburban in nature, then move to the suburbs. No one will begrudge you that choice.

  • geoffksu

    Wait I thought this was ‘Desolate Saint Louis University’…

    You know, ‘cuz the university promotes itself as the urban campus.

  • steamship

    This is what I imagine driving into Tulsa looked like circa 1955, minus the modern building on an island.

  • arthur

    honestly, who really needs bike lanes painted or a dedicated BRT lane?