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A. G. Edwards headquarters is an urban liability, not an asset

November 22, 2004 Midtown, Planning & Design 15 Comments

St. Louis Construction News & Review awarded a new building on the A.G. Edwards campus a Regional Excellence Award earlier this year, stating:

“The technical challenges in building this project were enormous, as is the project’s importance to St. Louis. A.G. Edwards is a major employer, its campus connects downtown to mid-town, and in pursuing this project, the company not only built on its commitment to St. Louis, it also upgraded the environment and infrastructure that will help its neighbors, such as Harris-Stowe State College.”

BULLSHIT!!! Let’s take a look at each of these claims to see the folly of the thinking:

• Technical challenges: I’m not really sure what the challenges were – the building looks as boring as the rest on campus. Certainly no more thought was put into connecting to the city on this building than prior A. G. Edwards buildings.

• Importance to St. Louis & being a major employer: The only importance A.G. Edwards has to St. Louis is the 1% employment tax and real estate taxes. Boasting of such a major company having their HQ within the city gives the boys at RCGA something to talk about.

• Connecting downtown to mid-town: Actually, quite the opposite is true. The massive A.G. Edwards campus is a growing virus in the middle of the city. Yes, they are “investing” millions of dollars in construction funds and they are employing many people. So what. Does that automatically create a connection just because they are between two points? Hardly. If fact, the design of the campus literally creates a disconnect between two areas we should be connecting. I’ll explain in much greater detail below why this campus creates a vacuum that has sucked the life out of this area.

• Commitment to St. Louis: This is the part where we are supposed to bow and thank them for not fleeing to Clayton or the hinterlands.

• Neighbors to benefit from upgraded environment & infrastructure: This is a prime example of the ‘spend millions and other development will be spurred’ fallacy.

I repeat, bullshit. All of it.

Where do I begin? Do I start with the dreadful black reflective architecture or the huge parking garages? Maybe I start with the ‘No Trespassing’ signs posted everywhere? No, no – I can start with the clear lack of life around the campus – dead 24/7. Their generosity certainly extends to giving this urban critic plenty of material from which to work.

I visited the A.G. Edwards campus on Sunday 11/21 from 2pm to 3pm. In that time I took nearly 140 photos. I walked the entire perimeter of the campus as well as the couple of public streets that cross through the campus. Most of the original street grid has been closed. If you don’t know the area use the link below to view a map:

[ Yahoo! Maps ]

Map of
1 N Jefferson Ave
St Louis, MO 63103-2205

When giving negative feedback I’m told it is best to start with something positive. Well, um, lets see… Oh yes, the grounds keepers and landscape crews have done an excellent job keeping the lawn bright green in late November. One can only imagine the amount of chemicals required to have those green lawns year round (damn, that was negative…). OK, I’ve gotten started on the negative so I might was well dig in, right?

The A.G. Edwards corporate headquarters on the West edge of downtown St. Louis is the most fucking anti-urban corporate headquarters in the City of St. Louis!

Get ahold of yourself Steve…

Those bastards have created a black hole and are getting fucking awards!

Calm down, Steve!

Ok, I think I can go on (he says as veins are popping).

Like I said above, I started with nearly 140 photos which I was certain you’d love to see. But, in the interest of time and server space I’ve narrowed these to twelve. Let’s call them the dirty dozen.


The corporate address is One North Jefferson – the NW corner of Market & Jefferson. Above is the intersection which is clearly AG Edwards as it is noted in huge letters at the top of the building. I can’t quite make out the entry so let’s get closer.


I see bright shrubs and a two-level parking garage but no entry. Walking North along Jefferson I cross what was once Chestnut street but that is long gone. I continue North.


Ok, this looks more like an entrance – it is at least a street with sidewalks. This is looking West at Pine. But, like Chestnut, Pine doesn’t continue through. This is basically a service entrance with what looks like power or HVAC equipment located in the center of the former street. As you can see, a multi-level bridge connects this parking garage to the building so employes need not bother with the city around them.


Above is the intersection of Jefferson & Olive – three blocks North of the main intersection at Jefferson & Market. So, they’ve closed off two streets in the grid (Chestnut & Pine) as well as taken two of the most prominent intersections in the entire city and completely wasted them. Both feature fucking parking structures! This could not be any worse, save for the absence of the aforementioned shrubs.


Returning to Jefferson & Market we begin to walk West along Market in search of the elusive entry. Above is one of newest buildings – a training center on how to invest your life savings. I wonder if they did any better with this corner?


Negatory! Instead you get the loading dock of the new building. Nice. In the back ground, across Market, is a new huge parking garage.


Turning North on Beaumont we can see what looks like a possible entrance. One compliment – I’m so glad they didn’t rename the street something self serving like A.G. Edwards Plaza/Drive/Court. Check out that perfect lawn – how can we as a city not like this?


I guess you need to like it only from your moving car. Yes, the sign says, “No Parking, Standing or Stopping.” I don’t even know if that is legal? This, to my knowledge, remains a public street and public sidewalk. Can I be fined for standing on the sidewalk? I’m tempted to find out some weekday. [Note: not once did any security guard even make an appearance despite my very obvious presence]


Look, an entrance! Nice paving and landscaping. Boring. Typical of major corporations.


Above is one of the newest buildings which faces Market street. This view is from in front of a massive parking garage across Market. The black glass continues their theme. You’d think top secret government secrets were kept here the way we are prevented from seeing in.


The above view is taken at the intersection of Leffingwell & Olive looking to the SE. Besides having two massive parking garages they have acres (literally) of surface parking. Note all the wrought iron fencing which just screams, “Keep away from us, we don’t know how to interact with those not like us.”


The last picture in the dirty dozen, above, is the Western boundary of the A.G. Edwards campus – Ewing St. [Note: I love the classic prime-time soap Dallas featuring the Ewing family. While in college I spent time in the Dallas gay bar called Jr’s as well as the lesbian bar called Sue Ellen’s].

Ewing street divides A.G. Edwards campus from the new Sigma-Aldridge campus to the West. Ewing street is only 3 blocks long – from Market on the South to Olive on the North. It has only one cross street, Laclede, which goes West to Sigma & Harris-Stowe. The street is wide enough for lots of traffic and could easily accommodate on-street parking. However, parking is prohibited on Ewing street adjacent to both the Edwards & Sigma campuses. In fact, on-street parking is prohibited for the entire perimeter of both campuses with only a few minor exceptions. Of course, with so much surface parking why would anyone park on a street?

This campus is a complete abomination. It is bad both architecturally and urbanistically (is that a word?). It turns its back to downtown, does everything it can to discourage pedestrians (as well as drivers) and totally devoid of any street life. It sucks the life out of this area.

The big claim by the Regional Excellence Award is the campus connects downtown to midtown. I fail to see how it connects anything other than ugly buildings to even uglier parking garages. No right minded pedestrian is going to stroll from Union Station to the Fox Theatre and decide to take a route past A.G. Edwards. If you want to walk, bike or drive from Union Station to The Fox you’ll take 20th North to either Locust or Washington as these are far more diverse and interesting. Life, although still emerging, is present along this route.

One of the key signs the Edwards campus is a vacuum is the lack of life around the perimeter. What do I mean? If the campus actually contributed to St. Louis you’d see the signs across the streets in the form of a St. Louis Bread Co, a Starbucks, a pizza place. Something, anything.

Instead we are stuck with a campus better suited to a greenfield site in the hinterlands. The employes drive in from the ‘burbs, park and return to the ‘burbs at 5pm. Of course, some of their employes live in the city but it is likely they drive to the campus. I saw no bike racks – not even at the visitor’s entrance. It is possible employes walk to Union Station or perhaps the Tap Room for lunch – both locations are about six blocks East. I’d be willing to bet most employes either stay within the campus or drive to a lunch destination. When I’ve got a free lunch hour I will observe the comings and goings of the campus during the lunch hours.

Rather than give A.G. Edwards awards we should be shaming them and their long term architects, Raymond E. Maritz & Sons, into changing their ways. This is unlikely to happen. Instead, city life will naturally avoid this vacuum. East of Jefferson a wonderfully urban area is blossoming along both Locust & Washington Ave – extending all the way East of Tucker. West of Jefferson life is quickly emerging along Locust. A small real estate developer on Locust has done more in two years to generate life than Edwards has done in over 30 years at the current location.

Predictable St. Louis Biz Journal Story from 2001

Holy Cross Lutheran Church for the Deaf – razed for latest Edwards building

11/25; St. Louis – Who is at fault?
12/1; SEC & USPS Blamed for AG Edwards’ anti-urban headquarters campus

Agree? Disagree? Post your comments below…


Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. Anjana says:

    Hey, you’ve enabled comments!

    There are several problems that keep a development like this from reaching it’s potential in the urban realm

    1) Lack of urban education

    2) Bottom line competitive bidding

    3) Lack of education regarding design

    4) Lack of education regarding landscaping

    5) Lack of education regarding sustainability & environmental responsiveness.

    That last one is a product of ARCHITECTURAL cultures, mind you, from past times. IE, it is OUR fault! The fault of designers for being so persuasive about the “International Style”. Phillip Johnson, and Mies van der Rohe did a great job convicing the populace of the glories of an international architectural tradition. That buildings are architecture can exist regardless of the environmental or contextual realities they exist in. Aando attempts the same thing even today.

    Certainly it is cheaper to DESIGN in this manner (more expensive to build AND maintain), transporting identical designs across the globe. With the advent of climate control technology, it not only became possible, but a statement of prestige to make it happen. Nevermind the energy inefficiences of maintaining perfect lawns or huge glass facades facing West!

    Since Design itself is badly understood, people don’t value a full and functional design process (let’s not mention the last place we saw this struggle!), and want to cut it short.

    Design itself is such a an abstract entity that the factors that are used to judge a design are totally flawed (as you’ve pointed out). If this is the case, and EVEN the majority of designers are so short sighted as to NEVER look back on their design and re-evaluate it after 10 years of use, then where does good design have a chance to emerge ?

    I would say that a lot of the problems in the American urban (and architectural) environment are products of the problems of the process itself, lack of education and the bottom dollar mentality. The American emphasis on productivity and efficiency is narrow minded and myopic. European studies such as efficiency improvements of the worker based on qualititative improvements to his/her surroundings have been pooh poohed even by the educated.

    Yes, I hate those stupid manicured lawns (in front of homes as much as in the undesigned niches left behind from bad designs of office plazas). They are ridiculous looking 3 dimensional pictures that have a low value to cost to maintain ratio.

    And I think your critical comments should be more pervasive in the buzz of reviews for people to slowly change their standards about what is good and what is not.

  2. Michael says:


    I agree with your critique, and am glad that someone else has the courage to argue against the AG Edwards campus design, rather than apologize for it by saying that the city needs AG Edwards so badly it can let them fuck up all of west downtown, as most people do. (Not that you are most people, though!) I didn’t know about the Ewing Street set-up; seems like it — and the whole campus — would make a great addition to EOA as an “abandoned place.”


    I don’t fault Mies as much as I fault his talentless imitators. Mies van der Rohe had radical ideas about urban buildings, but he was also a prservationist who lent his name and prestige to many preservation groups in Chicago during that city’s demolition crisis of the 1960’s.

    I have to say, though, that Ando’s Pulitzer infuriates me: http://eco-absence.org/text/rft121901.htm

  3. Claire says:

    I read this while sitting at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, another big ole campus that sits just to the west of a city’s downtown, forming a conveinient barrier between downtown and all the low-income people of color who live in neighborhoods and large-scale public housing projects nearby.

    Like the A.G. Edwards campus, UIC has darkly tinted windows that don’t open and hard-to-find doors. Large fences surround parts of the campus for no apparent reason (Those ugly, nastily plain things sure weren’t put in for their looks.). The campus turns its back on the surrounding community.

    Like the A.G. Edwards campus, the UIC campus has HIDEOUS architecture that somehow still seems to draw bits of praise here and there.

    Like the A.G. Edwards campus, UIC isn’t far from a large belt of former, now-developing warehouses that have helped form part of the foottrafficless dead zone between downtown and nearby residential areas for quite some time.

    Like the A.G. Edwards campus, UIC breaks up the street grid, necessitating detours from anyone who still cares to drive from one side of it to the other. And it has a lot of streets that dead end unnecessarily.

    Couldn’t help but notice the similarities.


  4. Joseph says:

    A.G. Edwards is a financial investment firm. It’s not a friendly, co-op owned by lesbians selling organic soy products. Is the building ugly? Yes. Is the friggin’ logo ugly? Yes. Is it “open and inviting and interact with its surroundings?” Of course not.

    Banks have never looked “open and inviting.” They’re supposed to look like depositories of wealth and power and high station in the community, even a bit intimidating.

    It’s a corporate headquarters so the average Joe walking down the street is not going to have any business walking in there. People who work for AG Edwards are generally the only people going in and out of those buildings.

    Weighing between the buildings aesthetics or value as a part of the built environment and its contribution to the city’s income and as a sign of life downtown, I’d vote for the latter.

    Also, as regards the Ando building, Tadao Ando has never made a building that is open and interacts with the environment. He is known for his ultra-modernist buildings that appear to have a “cloistered” appearance containing the contemplative art spaces therein. If you don’t like the Ando because it’s not “open” and “accessible” enough, you can go right next door to the Contemporary which is a much lacier, open, lattice-work type of structure.

  5. Steve Patterson says:

    Joseph makes some valid points about headquarters and banks (investment firms are sort of banks). Fine – just don’t give them any awards for connecting one part of the city to another because clearly it does not.

  6. Michael says:

    Joseph is right about the Contemporary’s better handling of its urban location. I’d like to add that the most annoying factor in the Pulitzer design is not its cloistered effect but its embrace of suburban-style cliche (door opening to driveway, no windows facing street, etc.). He could have gotten the same effect with minimal revision of the design to accomodate its location. Instead Ando chose the easier option, which no doubt pleases the Pulitzer’s cloistered audience.

    Banks and museums need to adopt new idioms of design. Hundreds of years of elitist ignorance doesn’t justify bad design today. Things ought to be getting better.

    Don’t we know more now than we did when suburbanization began? Jane Jacobs, Ada Louise Huxtable, James Howard Kunstler and others have enlightened us in the last forty years. It’s time to use their ideas to make a better world.

    AG Edwards could turn the same profit and make a difference with better design.

  7. Pat says:

    Yikes – well, I guess the jaded cynic in me would say: “Who gives a shit?” And yes the poster and all of his ilk SHOULD be VERY grateful that AGE hasn’t bolted for west county or even Wall Street for that matter. And if the poster takes issue with AGE getting various concessions for staying put, well then he should investigate every single freakin’ company that stays in a teetering cityscape — even those that are more “progressive” or whatever. And those companies that don’t seek concessions are failing to take advantage of a pretty standard benefit.

    The campus is decent enough for its employees. And as another poster has stated, the campus — like most of downtown — is a graveyard after 5:00. Sorry but it’s true. Except for the club life on or near the weekends our dear city can’t quite keep people downtown. That’s not AGE’s fault — nor is it their concern when building its facilities.

    And AGE does, to an extent, connect some communities because employees pour out of there all week long to visit the west end, soulard, lafayette square, u city loop, south grand etc etc to take in meals run errands etc.

    And lastly, the poster takes issue with AGE’s address being One N. Jefferson but there being no entrance there. Ummm, perhaps it would be better then for the company to list its address as Beaumont — the little street where the main entrance is? How many cabbies, airport shuttles and delivery guys could quickly gather where Beaumont is?

  8. Steve Patterson says:

    Hmmm. Pat argues that we should be grateful AGE didn’t bolt the teetering cityscape. I don’t seem to recall mentioning concessions for staying but he managed to read it into my words. “Decent enough.” It is a graveyard not because of the city but because AGE’s design is not condusive to anything but a graveyard. AGE does not connect simply by being in the middle of something. I wonder how many employees venture to Washington Avenue for dinner after work, or just to stroll the art galleries? As far as the address – I was not advocating changing the address to Beaumont – I was suggesting they actually have the main entry on a prominent intersection – you know, URBAN.
    BTW Pat, your comments are more meaningful when you actually use a valid email address. No bother, I’ve got your IP address. Perhaps it will trace back to AGE??????

  9. Pat says:

    – Didn’t leave my e-mail address ’cause I don’t want any more.
    – Yes I am an AGE employee, but you won’t trace this IP back to my work locale. And aren’t you swell and clever for suggesting so.
    – Yes, people from AGE do go to Washington ave for dinner and lunch etc.
    – Strolling the galleries? Gosh, I guess as much as any other downtown employee does.
    – You mention people walking from Union Station to the Fox. I challenge you to find a SINGLE person (other than yourself) who would EVER walk from Union Station to the Fox. This is St. Louis, bro. Nobody walks anywhere. How this is AGE’s fault, I’m not sure (but we’re sorry).
    – Yes there are bike racks, in a nice secure area. I walk past it every morning and witness the folks who use it daily.
    – Interesting that you identify Starbucks and Bread Co. as signs of life. Wouldn’t they also offend your architectural sensibilities?
    – As far as our black glass and other architectural affronts go, well what would you, personally, like the firm to do? I’d love to work in some architectural wonder (many years ago, I worked in the Wainwright building), but y’know what? Once you’re inside any office building, it’s just cubicles and coffee makers.
    – Didn’t know the building had won an award. Don’t care. I just think your ire could be better directed than “shaming” the architects. Sheesh.
    – I’m done. Have a nice day.

  10. Steve Patterson says:

    I do apperciate your feedback. Unfortunately, I don’t think you are getting the point. I’m not blaming any one person (except for the AGE architect). Employees of AGE are not at fault for the state of the city.

    I’m suggesting that had AGE taken a different approach to a headquarters in an urban context the perimeter around the campus might look diffently now – or at least be changing to include shops, convenience stores, restaurants, etc… that would serve the AGE employees. These same places may draw new residents to the perimeter – either employees of AGE or not.

    We don’t walk in St. Louis because of places like AGE. That is the whole point -if we create more pedestrian-friendly places people will walk. And, BTW, a friend that lives in Seattle walked from Union Station to the West End on a prior visit. As a Seattle resident he is used to walking – they build friendly environments condusive to walking.

    Starbucks & Breadco do not offend my sensibilites at all. Unlike AGE, they encourage people to linger, create life where they exist, and are examples of good design.

    Another reader, a former AGE employee, told me privately of the bike racks & showers. This is great – more employers need to do this. Congrats to AGE for this effort! From a human resources perspective, it looks like AGE is very generous, diverse and open. I applaud their employee relations!

    However, I still take exception with their urban relations. True, once inside a building it is all cubicles. But from the outside – from the public space – the black glass is not friendly. For energy reasons this is often used. This is why pro-urban architects will create a pedestrian-friendly ground floor which uses clear (or mostly clear) glass so that a pedestrian can see what is going on. This is how you enliven a sidewalk.

    Please take time to read Kunstler’s Geography of Nowhere or similar book on urban planning. Thanks for the exhange!

  11. Dan Icolari says:

    Greetings. I’m a first-time poster to this site and a foreigner. Which is to say, a New Yorker. One who’s considering a move to your fair city.

    I have nothing to contribute to the topic at hand except to agree that the AG Edwards campus –based, at least, on the pictures posted here–is sterile, anonymous and anti-urban.

    What is encouraging to me as a prospective– what, St. Louisan? St. Louisite? STLer?–is that a discussion about what constitutes appropriate urban development is taking place. What encourages me is that the voices engaged in this discussion are impassioned. And this is only one of many discussions about St. Louis I’ve listened in on recently. And the voices are always impassioned.

    Every day in my searches I see that while many St. Louis residents are haunted by the city’s post-1960s decline, they see very clearly that the city has the advantages and attributes needed to generate its own renaissance. They understand that in addition to economic development, such a renaissance depends on the preservation and revitalization of city neighborhoods and the often stunning architecture of the downtown business district; on a championing of urban values such as walking, biking and incentives for using public transit; and on a resistance to creeping suburban (i.e., anti-urban) development of the AG Edwards variety.

    Though I’m only in the very preliminary stage of deciding where and when to move, St. Louis has become an increasingly interesting possibility.

    Thank you for your devotion to St. Louis and for talking about the things that make cities work–or don’t.

  12. Susan says:

    I have to agree with Pat in that I think your criticism is a little harsh, and undeserved in some places. First, let me say that I am not leaving a valid email because of some info that I plan on putting in this comment that could identify me and/or my husband. Yes, you may log my IP. I’ll save you some time–it will come back to Charter, an ISP I’ll bet about half the city uses at this point. You can choose to dismiss what I have to say based on that or not.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has some really wacky requirements for securities firms. I worked for an investment firm for quite some time. The hiring process required an FBI background check, along with fingerprints, etc. Several other security checks were necessary. I am not personally aware of whether AGE’s black glass and “no stopping, standing”, etc. signs are because of SEC regulations. However, my husband does work for AGE, and I know that they like to err on the side of caution when it comes to SEC & regulatory/law issues. One could say that they tend to be a bit overly ethical–or, if you prefer cynicism, a bit overly cautious. Having worked in a similar firm, I personally think they err on the side of ethics. I have a suspicion that part of their design is most likely an effort to comply with privacy concerns and legal requirements from the SEC.

    I also am not sure if AGE ever did have a Jefferson entrance. Yet, I think this criticism is unfair–after all, the USPS designates street addresses–it’s not as if they had a choice in the matter. Why should they put an entrance on Jefferson if one was never there? I understand that you are trying to apply the principles of urban planning here, yet I think you are criticizing them on some things that may have had many other contributing factors. Urban design, while important, is not the only factor in designing a corporate headquarters. I think that you may have overlooked some of these other mitigating factors.

    I think that the technical award may have been that AGE requires that any new additions to this campus connect with the other buildings on campus (leading to many large atriums inside, as my husband tells me). Perhaps this is what they were referring to in the article? I would think it would be difficult architecturally to design something that first, fits with the existing design, and second, connects physically with the other buildings. It would most likely be difficult to build, as well. Hence, the article and award?

    My husband, and many of his coworkers, often frequent restaurants, bars, etc., in the area after work. AGE probably keeps a couple of those Mom n’ Pop bars open that are located near the campus. They have lots of happy hours, and they don’t travel out to the county for them–they patronize the businesses in the neighborhood. I don’t think it’s quite just to pan people for not patronizing art galleries on Washington. It’s just not some people’s cup of tea. Odds are that a bunch of financial geeks, business dorks, and IT workers don’t list art as their primary interest.

    However, I take issue with your assertion that places like AGE don’t encourage walking. There is a rather large city in Brazil that closed off 20 square blocks of its downtown area to auto traffic, thus making the world’s largest pedestrian mall. It has been wildly successful. I’m sure you’ll note the fence again, but not all parts of the campus are surrounded by fence, and again, I’ll note the security concerns that you seem to have overlooked. Also, you noted that no security approached you. Perhaps they are not quite as unfriendly as you have made them seem? I have picked up my husband from work quite often. I have driven into the surface lot, waited in my car, and have never been bothered by security. (They are there, though, in their cute little uniforms with their mountain bikes.) I have parked the car, got up and walked up to the entrance, and not been bothered by security. (Perhaps because they know with all the black glass I can’t see in, and becaue I don’t have a security badge, I won’t make it through the door?) Really, though–that entrance (the one most people use) has clear glass on the first level, which you have said is a good thing. You can see it in your picture captioned, “Above is one of the newest buildings which faces Market street. This view is from in front of a massive parking garage across Market. The black glass continues their theme. You’d think top secret government secrets were kept here the way we are prevented from seeing in.” But in the picture, you can clearly see that the glass is clear on the entrance part, and the second floor. Also, in the atrium sections, the glass is clear.

    I applaud you for demanding better design, I would love to see more thoughtful planning and design in this city. However, I think that you have unfairly criticized AGE for things beyond its control. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, I thought you might want to be aware of some facts you may not have known about, such as SEC regulations, etc.

  13. Matt says:

    The original poster is a clueless idiot. You want to know why there are iron fences around the parking lots? Because of the high rate of car vandalism and theft that occurs in the area around the AGE campus. I’ve known coworkers whose cars have been stolen, locks broken with stereos stolen, etc.

    You want to know why there are signs about not standing around? It’s because of September 11, 2001. Financial firms are a known target for terrorists. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, etc all issue security guidelines to financial firms. There is a good reason why AGE doesn’t want people peeking in the windows, loitering around the campus. I personally had to call Security when I saw a black man stare down and tail a woman in the evening up to the 2801 Market St. entrance. He then tried to force his way through the rotating doors. Crime is rampant in the area.

    AGE employees generate a lot of revenue for restaurants in the area like Sybergs, Tap Room, Market St. Cafe, Union Station, etc.

    [REPLY – Clueless idiot huh? Ever stop to wonder why crime is an issue around AGE? It is because it is designed in an anti-urban fashion!!! In good urban design (or New Urbanism) you get eyes on the street and sidewalk which is a natural deterrant to crime. Any problems around AGE are entirely by design. – SLP]

  14. WhatColorSkin says:

    Interesting that Matt has to mention that the man was African-American.

  15. Jessi says:

    i work at ag edwards. i’ll give you the fact that it’s not exactly a pretty campus. it’s a financial firm. it’s not really supposed to be all warm and inviting. like someone said earlier, once inside it’s pretty much cubes and coffee makers. the one statement that i have to take issue with is that it’s a graveyard. since it’s a financial firm the majority of the work begins at 7:30 (about an hour before the market opens) and ends around 4 or 4:30. this give people a chance to make sure all the loose ends from market issues are cleared up. i’m sure you don’t see a lot of people hanging out at edward jones out in west county. naturally it’s going to be pretty dead on the weekends and at night … most people are at home! as far as being like bread co or starbucks … why would people want to hang out in an office building? obviously they wouldn’t put a starbucks that was open to the general public. there are certain kinds of security issues. as crazy as it seems there is a lot of sensitive information in a financial firm that someone walking off the street should have no access to. i wouldn’t feel very comfortable knowing that just anyone could potentially sneak off with my information. i’d also like to agree with the poster who made the point about the fences. Financial firms are a target (as 9/11 has shown). i for one love the fact that i have a place where i can park my car and know that it’s probably pretty safe (as opposed to just about anywhere else downtown). i understand the urban slide and all of that. i just don’t really understand how you can blame one company for the decline st. louis has seen. ag edwards has been a constant in the city for over a hundred years, which is more than most companies can say.

    [REPLY We’d be better off had A.G. Edwards built their horribly suburban campus out in Chesterfield or something. St. Louis is a CITY. In a city we do things like mix office, retail, restaurants and housing in the same area. In suburbia they do the opposed — divide everything up into areas that are only accessed by cars.

    A.G. Edwards managed to build a suburban style campus in the middle of what was a thriving area. They’ve sucked the life out of the area and done so while saying it is unsafe. AGE is part of the reason the area of lifeless and potentially unsafe. Again, we’d have been better off had they left — maybe then we wouldn’t have such a huge black hole of suburbia in the middle of our city. – SLP]


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