Historic Preservation Midtown

Alley Closure Bill Indicates Livery Stable May Be Endangered

by Michael R. Allen

Rumors that St. Louis University plans to demolish a former livery stable at 3401 Locust Street are bolstered by a bill introduced at the Board of Aldermen by Ald. Marlene Davis (D-19th). Board Bill 129 would vacate the alley in the eastermost 239.47 feet of the alley on the block bounded by Locust on the south, Theresa on the west, Washington on the north and Channing (also known as Josephine Baker) on the east. This is the stretch of alley between the old stable and a parking lot owned by St. Louis University to the north.

R.W. Crittenden built the livery stable in 1885 with later additions in 1888 and 1889. A major renovation occurred in 1902 from plans by architect Otto J. Wilhelmi. In the 20th century, the stable served as a sales room for the Salisbury Automobile Company; it stood in the stretch of Locust known as “Automobile Row.” In recent years, the brick building was painted white and had its windows filled in. However, broad arched entrances are evident in addition to other masonry elements common to the local interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style.

With this board bill, the fate of the building seems bleak. Landmarks Association of St. Louis lists the building on its 2007 Eleven Most Endangered Buildings list.