Century Building Demolition Downtown

The Demolition of the Century Building Brings to Mind…

by Michael R. Allen

As wreckers race to destroy the landmark Century Building, Ecology of Absence pauses to recall how it once appeared in this vintage postcard.

Such a memory bring to mind another downtown office building now lost. Correction; we recall several buildings now lost that once formed the most spectacular commercial group in the city. These were the buildings on Seventh Street between Market and Locust, as depicted in this other postcard.

From left, the Missouri Pacific, Lincoln Trust, Fullerton and Holland Buildings have all fallen to the callous plans of our civic leaders and property owners. The last of these buildings disappeared in 1982, suggesting that 22 years is not enough time for a Saint Louis civic leader to learn good urban planning.

To contemplate the existence of a commercial corridor and an individual building so graceful that someone sold postcard images of both leads to a massive shudder as one considers what has replaced and will replace these buildings.