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Gems Hidden Inside Our Downtown Buildings

September 29, 2010 Downtown, Planning & Design 6 Comments

Yesterday I met a friend for lunch at a lunch place on the ground floor of the Bank of America building bounded by Broadway, Chestnut, 4th & Pine.

Atrium Cafe ext

The picture above is the Atrium Cafe as seen from the outside.  Exciting huh?

Atrium Cafe interior

However, from the lobby the place was very open visually and there was a steady flow of customers.  From the outside it is impossible to tell what is going on inside, a visitor to St. Louis could walk right past the building and not realize the place they want to grab a bite for lunch is right there.

This is not the fault of the owner of the Atrium Cafe, but the design of the building and so many others.  They are internally focused. Hopefully we can get building owners to begin piercing through the exterior walls to create more excitement at the sidewalk level.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Salvdr says:


  2. Chris says:

    I work at AT&T and there are at least two (arguably more) businesses in the lobby the the general public would frequent if they were more visible: Breve Coffee Company and CVS. I've actually had motorists stop me on the sidewalk in front of the building asking where the pharmacy was. This is indeed an issue with many downtown businesses.

  3. Kara says:

    I eat at that cafe all the time, it's great for a quick affordable lunch. Adding a neon sign in the exterior window should be enough to let people know it's there. Wouldn't the cafe owners be able to do this on their own?

  4. aaronlevi says:

    i like driving through downtown chicago and seeing all of the variety of businesses. everything from pharmacy's, restaraunts, grocery stores, and even K-Mart. it'd be nice to see these downtown st. louis business get some exterior signage. i think a lot of people would be surprised at how many businesses there are downtown.

  5. Excellentforslapping says:

    Landmarks Association's gallery is another downtown amenity hidden in the back of a dark lobby. They need a sign!


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