by Michael R. Allen
We are getting closer to knowing what the flying saucer will look like in its new life. On Wednesday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m., in front of the beloved building itself, at 212 S. Grand Boulevard, developer Rick Yackey will hold a press conference. Yackey is expected unveil the awaited renderings of what the former rehabilitated Phillips 66 gas station at Council Plaza will look like in its new life as a retail building.
We can expect an adaptive reuse plan that includes an addition to the building that adds enough space to create two spaces for tenants. Perhaps we will even get a slice of information about the new tenants. Hopefully the plan includes making the corner of Forest Park Boulevard and Grand Avenue, which lacks sidewalks at its intersection, more pedestrian friendly and safer for residents of Council Plaza to use.
At the least, we will see the concept for reviving one of the city’s most beloved mid-century landmarks. Rick Yackey has embraced one of the region’s largest preservation upswells in recent years. A renewed flying saucer not only will provide an example of successful adaptation of a difficult purpose-built building, but testament to the power of public engagement of the built environment.