Architecture Downtown Historic Preservation

The Marquette Building Has a Cornice Again

by Michael R. Allen

The cornice is returning to the Marquette Building at 314 North Broadway in St. Louis. At least, a fiberglass-based replication of some of the original cornice details is being installed by the Lawrence Group. The new cornice’s bracket detailing matches the original, but the projecting frieze had detailing not present on the replica, on which that area is flat. Even an incomplete cornice replication is a novelty among historic rehabilitation projects these days, since few other developers replicate removed cornices. (Pyramid’s recent renovations of the Curlee and Mallinckrodt buildings on Washington Avenue come to mind.)

The Monward Realty Company built what would become the Marquette Building from plans by renowned local firm Eames & Young. Completed in 1913, the building was briefly known as the Monward Building until Boatmen’s Bank leased much of the new building following the 1913 fire that destroyed their headquarters at Fourth and Washington (the site is now where the Missouri Athletic Company Building stands). The building became known as the Marquette Building after completion. An annex building was added in 1918 and expanded in 1920, but demolished in 1998 for a parking garage that was part of a terrible and failed plan to redevelop the Marquette Building. The Marquette is now under renovation for reuse as condominiums and the garage is part of the Federal Reserve Bank’s “campus.”

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