The Alverne (aka DeSoto Hotel)

Renovations and new residential construction in downtown St. Louis, Washington Avenue, the Old Post Office, etc.
Time for a Alverne topic!
I could not find a specific topic for this project, so I started this.

In the good old days

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from Built St Louis (http://www.builtstlouis.net/arch.html)

Photos shot 24 October:

Building front

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Are these backside balconies a new addition?

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Arch City has posted more photos at the Skyscraper Forum - St. Louis Project Rundown:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthr ... 20&page=58
^ why yes they are.... thanks for setting up the thread, btw.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.... I know there are some issues about the execution of some of Brandonview's work, but admit I'm kind of a fanboy as the're putting up apartments that downtown desperately needs. Unless others get started quickly, the Alverne will be one of the view projects of any size to come online next year.
Here's the thread on this topic

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3193&p=46739&hilit=alverne#p46739

You have to do an advanced search and search titles only and hope the topic has the name in the title. A general search gives you the most recent posts with the words you're looking for. So if the topic came up in another thread (the XX year city projects threads often come up in search results, maybe add links to the individual project thread in that one?), or the search word is pretty general, the thread you're looking for gets buried
[email protected]!

I did the advanced search but I failed to see the above topic. Let's shut this topic down and I will move the my comments to that earlier one.

Sorry for the duplication!!
^ No problem... Mr. Memphis and I were complaining on another thread about how this dump has the worst search engine in the known universe! Hopefully someone will just go ahead and merge the thread.
the Alverne is lookin' good with its big new windows!

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photo courtesy of FrenchTwins over at skyscraperpage: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthr ... 20&page=64
Are the windows split between floors?
^ i believe they are 2-story windows, yes. my understanding is that they are loft apartments.
Strange. It's kind of a quirky solution to those tiny windows (I like that they kept a row of them along the corner of the building), but I'm thrilled to see it being brought back online. Especially after that arson scare back in 2010.
^ i hadn't noticed that row. i wonder if they're leaving them or if they just haven't gotten around to replacing them yet.
Would love to see some homage to that old Hotel DeSoto sign. Something simple like what Dominium added to the Meropolitan Artist Lofts in Midtown would be a nice addition to that corner.
More windows going in!!

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I'm still up in the air on if this renovation is acceptable. I can't get over the impression it's nothing more than some form of a down market flip that is doing more damage to the building then mothballing it until a better proposal came along. Think of all the great buildings that were "modernized" in the 50'S we all cringe over today.
I feel somewhat differently. The windows on the Alverne are objectively quite small, something I think would have always inhibited a rehab, I doubt a preference for natural light is a passing fad as those sixties storefront modifications were. Honestly this is one of the very few historic buildings that I don't much like, there's very little ornamentation, small windows, etc. I think we have to look at development as an effort to create a more livable city with historic preservation being an important tool but not an all encompassing let's save every single building rule.
I'm a big fan this development as it finds a medium between historic preservation and new construction, they are using the shape of the larger two story windows on the upper floors.
Southcity, that's a really good point / valid concern. And this re-windowing could definitely be regrettable in retrospect. But I agree with Pete in many regards. This building has already been stripped of many of its more interesting/redeeming architectural elements, and it's not a complete strip-job/re-facing. The windows are different, and perhaps geometrically less than ideal for the facade, but otherwise it's very much the same building and good to get it online and adding residents to Downtown.


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I think this building was in the "be happy with what we can get" category. There wasn't much demand for it in the first place. This large piece of downtown real estate sold for as much as a single family house in some suburbs.

Even with the bar lowered to that level, I still think replacing the windows and creating bi-level apartments out of it is a great idea. I bet those apartments will look really cool inside when it's finished.
This building was extremely close to being leveled, so while the windows might not exactly look the best, this is far better than having ANOTHER surface parking lot. Like someone else said, the building was stripped of most of its architectural features years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product on the interior.
I personally think the building looks better already. It was a monstrosity that has received some botox, a facelift and some lipstick. I can stand to look at it now.

St. Louis has lost some beauties. The least that can be done with this one is to dress her up a bit.

She will be good for another 50 years.
I agree. Having projects like this downtown ads some much needed diversity in housing. It also raises interesting questions about what subsidies do, and when to use them. I don't think we would want every rehab to be akin to the Alverne - just imagine the Arcade done without tax credits.
Here's a shot I took this morning from the side of the building they still haven't done any work on, which is another way of saying please work on this side of the building. If anyone has nostalgia for what this building looked like before they changed it, here you go:
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I do want to plead to the contractor about one thing: those entranceway door handles on Locust. Between the two doors, there is a rubbed-bronze looking handle, a chrome deadbolt, and a brushed nickle door knob (not handle) with at least a corresponding deadbolt. I sure hope that's temporary.
^ It's soooooo beautiful!
Looks like this project is opening earlier than I thought... like next week!

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/artsblog ... lText=true

I also didn't know the building originally was home of the City Club before Hotel DeSoto. Hopefully Hayden will now move on to his Mercantile holdings.
So with them opening next week.. Did they end up fixing the back side? Not sure if that picture was recent or not.
Holy cow, that was fast. I almost have to see it to believe it. I'll be heading downtown on Thursday.
Back (east) side is still not worked on. I recently noticed they seemed to be working on the east west alleyway side of the building so still hopeful. They were also working late into the night last night on the rooftop (deck/patio) on the southeast corner of the building. I have a feeling they are going to start leasing floors while other parts of the building are being worked, they still have a lot to do it seems. They did replace the door handles though!

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