by Michael R. Allen
At about 5:05 p.m., wreckers from Environmental Operations Incorporated made first contact between the wrecking ball and the Washington Avenue skybridge between the old St. Louis Centre mall and the former Stix, Baer and Fuller building. Wreckers used the ball to knock out some glass for a few minutes, but stopped short of inflicting major damage. Heavy wrecking has already begun, with the roof already removed before today’s ceremonial demolition.
Long forgotten, it seems, are the proclamations of urban renewal made in 1985 when St. Louis Centre opened. In a 1985 Fortune article on St. Louis’ supposed rebound, Edmund Faltermeyer wrote:
Amid great hoopla — appearances by Bob Hope and child actor Ricky Schroder and thousands of balloons — the glittering $150-million St. Louis Centre opened in August after 16 years of gestation. It is the largest enclosed downtown shopping mall in the U.S., with 1.4 million square feet.
At least Ricky Schroeder is still around.