Home » North City »Public Transit » Currently Reading:

I would live at 4005 Delmar

February 26, 2010 North City, Public Transit 7 Comments
4005 Delmar
4005 Delmar

The vacant building at 4005 Delmar is an imposing structure, dwarfing neighboring buildings.

Boarded storefronts at sidewalk level
Boarded storefronts at sidewalk level

But the design is nearly perfect.  The aesthetics are certainly appealing but I’m talking about how it relates to the sidewalk.  Built in 1928, the building has 100 one-bedroom apartments, three larger apartments plus the storefronts.  It occupies a lot that is just 150ft wide by 145 ft deep.

I see a modern streetcar coming West along Olive out of downtown.  Just past Compton the streetcar would veer right to stay on Olive. For decades the streetcar did just this. At Vandeventer I would make a right turn to the North and then a left to head West on Delmar. The streetcar would pass directly in front of this building on the way to the Loop area further West on Delmar.

The modern streetcar would make the renovation of this building a feasible proposition.  I can’t think of anything else that could happen that would put this building back into use.  The vacant land in both directions along my proposed route would get redeveloped with new construction.

For years I’ve pictured myself living in this building and taking a streetcar East to Midtown and Downtown or West to the CWE or Loop.  The location is ideal.  This building is the ideal height for much of the city.  Our main corridors could be lined with similar 5-story buildings.  Many get all excited about high-rise towers making a statement on the skyline. Not me, this is far more exciting than any tower.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Matthew M. says:

    Completely agreed! It would be great to see gaps in major streets developed just like this.

    I'm thinking Olive in Midtown Alley; Kingshighway in Southtown, and many more examples.

  2. mbrewer says:


    Awesome building. Mills Properties manages two buildings – 5622 and 5654 Delmar that are equally compelling buildings. They are occupied – which is a plus. I have no doubt the streetcar would be a nice addition to the otherwise challenging stigma attached to Delmar. I love the area up and down the street and believe in all that it could be. The streetcar would be just the catalyst to bring life back to street.

  3. brickshire2000 says:

    Agreed, far more exciting. What are your thoughts on the ground floor? Do you know anything about the interior space to determine how it might function best?

    • Not sure of the interior configuration, I could imagine some consolidation to create larger units. Much of the ground floor and all of the basement would become parking but I'd like to see no more than a 1:1 ratio. With a streetcar outside many could be car-free or just one car per couple. Have a WeCar or two available on the street as well. The storefronts could serve normal neighborhood functions, small market, etc..

  4. JZ71 says:

    I'm assuming you'd live here if the building were renovated, not in its current condition. “Not me, this is far more exciting than any tower.” The challenge is that you're not most people. Most people just see the current reality, a vacant and partially-boarded-up building, and one of way too many across the city. Plus, most people don't see the potential, they just know/assume that, like too many other buildings like it, it, and thje surrounding neighborhood, will slowly decline until it either burns down or is torn down.

    I don't disagree with your vision. I just see two major hurdles/opportunities. One, while you may want to return to the twenties, I'd much rather see 21st century architecture happening (same scale, more contemporary skin). And two, we need many more willing buyers/renters for either or both of our visions. St. Louis has the “bones”, it just doesn't have enough people (and jobs?) willing to do more than just dream . . .

    • I agree that buildings built in the 21st century should have a modern aesthetic. I love the combination of renovated historic structures adjacent to well designed modern structures.

      Most people live in drab suburbs. Not all suburbs are drab but the ones where most people live are. But there are enough people that don't want to live in drab suburbs to make this work.

  5. Michal Alta says:

    The reason nothing has happened with this building is that one of the partners of the ownership group took the money intended to redevelop the property and spent it on other things leaving the remaining partners no option but to hold on and wait for someone to show up and pay a higher price than what they paid so that they can at least recoup their original investment. Anyhow it will be 2011 or 12 before anything will happen. Several Charter Schools have toured the property. The ground floor is all wide open with high ceilings.


Comment on this Article: