Central West End

Blunder on Laclede

by Michael R. Allen

Highland Homes is planning to demolish the house at 4557 Laclede currently used by the ACLU as their office to make way for the most ungainly new heap of housing in the current CWE boom. Look at the rendering on Urban St. Louis, and you may find yourself gaining a new appreciation for the architecture of the OPUS towers, which while bland aren’t even close to being as ill-proportioned as this new building. Yes, the building is “green,” but that does not excuse the design faults, which are not in any way related to the constraints of using green materials, or the fact that demolition of the existing building on the site will generate a lot of debris for the landfills.

Note that the first design for Renaissance Place, or whatever it will be called, is still far uglier (although thankfully shelved). The fact that designs as terrible as these are being taken as far as the construction phase shows a real need for a strong design advocacy movement here.