Preservation Board to consider demolition of San Luis

St. Louis, MO. –

Listen to the expanded comments of Friends of San Luis co-founder Randy Vines and Christner architect Dan Jay.

The St. Louis Preservation Board likely will vote on whether to grant a demolition permit of the San Luis Apartments at its meeting Monday at 4 p.m.

The building on Lindell Boulevard is owned by the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which wants to put a parking lot in the San Luis' place.

The former DeVille Motor Hotel was designed by Charles Colbert and built in 1963.

Preservationists say the building is a good example of mid-century architecture.

Friends of San Luis co-founder Randy Vines says it could be renovated. He points to the former Bel Air, now the Hotel Indigo just down the street.

"I think if the Bel Air can look like that after some TLC, the San Luis is absolutely unstoppable," Vines said.

But Dan Jay, an architect for Christner working with the Archdiocese, says it would be too cost-prohibitive for the Archdiocese to embark on a rehab project.

Furthermore, Jay says the San Luis was cheaply built and not considered significant in its own time.

"I would hate to take down a real architectural treasure, but I feel pretty confident that this is not one," Jay said.

Jay says the parking lot would serve the Cathedral Basilica and Rosati-Kain High School.

The plan includes nearly 30% green space.