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Changes Coming To Macy’s In The Railway Exchange

January 13, 2011 Downtown, Economy, Retail 10 Comments

Macy’s currently occupies the first six floors of the 21-story Railway Exchange Building.

Railway Exchange
ABOVE: The massive Railway Exchange Building occupies an entire city block

The department store plans to consolidate into the lower three floors.  Macy’s contains two restaurants, Papa Fabares on the 2nd floor and The St. Louis Room on the 6th, but you need to know about them because you won’t find any information on their website:

ABOVE: Macy's website listing indicates a restaurant, but offers no details

The store is still listed as “St. Louis Centre” for the former mall to the north being rebuilt as a parking garage with street-level retail.

ABOVE: The entrance to Papa Fabares on the 2nd Floor of Macy's
ABOVE: The entrance to Papa Fabares on the 2nd Floor of Macy's

Papa Fabares takes you back in time and the French Onion Soup is the signature item.  I don’t see this restaurant going anywhere when Macy’s consolidates.

ABOVE: The lunch buffet at the 6th floor St. Louis Room
ABOVE: The lunch buffet at the 6th floor St. Louis Room

The 6th Floor St. Louis Room, however, will be a casualty since this floor will no longer be a part of Macy’s.


I’m unsure what will happen to the pedestrian walkway over Olive to the parking garage.  Most months when I go to a regular lunch meeting at the St. Louis Room I just use my wheelchair to travel the 10 blocks to the store, but a few times I will drive my car and then the pedestrian bridge is handy in bad weather.


The pedestrian bridge connects at the 4th floor of the Railway Exchange Building, one above Macy’s after consolidation.  It is butt ugly and should go but the sidewalk level disabled entrance faces 6th Street, not Olive.   Removing the bridge might present some ADA access issues.  I’m torn, the urbanist in me says the bridge needs to go but the disabled me says it is handy.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. aaronbbrown says:

    disabled people have too few options already in St. Louis, aesthetic concerns should never take precedent over practical ones.

    • MiamiStreet63139 says:

      I don't see it as “all or nothing” since the bridge can be torn down while also constructing better access at the ground level entrance.

  2. Salvdr says:

    By going through the pedestrian bridge I was able to get from Chestnut Street to the office on Washington Avenue without going out into the elements.

  3. JZ71 says:

    . . . and therein lies the challenge – different problems have different “better” solutions. Bigger picture, I expect accommodating both the ADA and motorists will continue to favor suburban sprawl – the Law of Unintended Consequences! Macy's is down/right-sizing for one reason – it makes economic sense. They're attracting fewer shoppers to this location, and they've figured out that they can make nearly as much money with half the space and half the number of employees as they have now.

  4. Ed Golterman says:

    Three-floors goes to Zero in 2 years.

    • Tpekren says:

      Can't be so pestimistic as you Ed, sustained growth in residential as more units are coming online (only place where units are being added in any meaningful numbers) and the number of employees increasing again, admit slowly if not very slowly, will sustain a Macy's downtown. The question is their enough to sustain another reasonable size retailer, Target lets say, either in BPV or Mid-town next to SLU?

  5. Tpekren says:

    4th floor pedesterian walkway should go in my humble opinion. St. Louis is not nearly the harsh climate as Twin Cities let alone Chicago. Please don't give me the weather changes every minute. Everybody in every where I have work say the same about their own climate.

    As far as ADA, Macy's is a big boy with big bucks and can find solutions if you press the issue.

    • MiamiStreet63139 says:

      Agreed. I used to live in New England. After a few winters up there, the STL winters are nice and mild. It's charming to get three inches of snow here and have everyone talk about the harsh elements.

      • RobbyD says:

        Kinda like the charm exhibited in NE when the Sox win a World Series or two every 80 years and everyone talks about baseball domination. ;-]

        I do agree that the “non-Minneapolis” winters here in the Lou do not necessarily require shelter from teh elements. Though Jan and Feb can see quite a few mornings in teh teens.

        We get four seasons here without needing to dig outta 2 feet of snow a couple times a year. Kinda nice.

  6. Don says:

    How about remodeling/reconstructing the pedestrian bridge in a “less ugly” fashion?


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