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Thankfully Biondi Wasn’t Allowed To Immediately Raze The Pevely Building

February 3, 2015 Featured, History/Preservation, Midtown, SLU 6 Comments

A few years ago Saint Louis University was determined to raze the Pevely Dairy building at Chouteau & Grand (see Pevely Dairy Fate to be Decided Today, or Not?). The city said they could raze the building — once they apply for a building permit for the medical building they intended to build to the South — the site of the Pevely Dairy was to be lawn and driveway. Many of us who fought against demolition felt defeated, eventually they’d submit plans for an awful new building set far back from the road and the historic warehouse would come down.

2011: The historic Pevely Dairy maintains the building line at both Grand & Chouteau
2011: The historic Pevely Dairy maintains the building line at both Grand & Chouteau

However, their project didn’t go forward! Thankfully the city’s Preservation Board had the good sense to require a real project before allowing the demolition. See SLU May Pass on Pevely Site for New Medical Facility.

View from Grand last month
View from Grand last month

So now it’s three years later, Biondi is no longer SLU’s president.  Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t see any news about the fate of the building and the acres of vacant land to the south. I’d love to see it get a new use as part of a larger project. I’d also like to see the big red letters spelling PEVELY returned to the rooftop sign. Pevely Hall?

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Adam says:

    Alex Ihnen said a while back that at least a couple developers have approached SLU about purchasing Pevely since Biondi was deposed, and were turned away. I’m still very concerned about SLU’s plans for this building. I sense that they’re still looking for an opportunity to clear it and add the land to their bank. The recent underhanded attempt to raze the MO Belting Bldg. reinforces that, I think.

  2. KevinB says:

    Don’t go patting the Preservation Board on the back too firmly — they caved to a last-minute power play by Fr. Biondi himself (We’ll have to move to the County!) in approving the other demo(s). The proper response would have been to preserve the entirety of Pevely’s Chouteau streetface (at least to the metal shed) until such a time as a building permit was submitted, reviewed and approved.

    When/If SLU finally does decide to build their building — and opts to do so, say, across Chouteau and wants to use the Pevely site for more parking…well, not much contributing there anymore to encourage the Pres. Bd. to deny demo…

  3. Timm says:

    What is the status of the request for demo of the MO Belting Co building? As far as the Pevely sign didn’t one of the letters fall off the building when they were essentially just pushing it over on the roof? I doubt it would have bee saved but rather hauled off to dump

  4. gmichaud says:

    The Pevely Building is not an exceptional piece of architecture on its own, although it is attractive and a class of buildings that have been decimated in St. Louis. Still its most important contribution is how it captures a major corner and if in use, could feed the metro transit station. the other three corners are duds. Especially the SLU highrise, what the hell is it called? (Is it the Doisy Center?) It is a monstrosity that destroys urban living. The building itself is somewhat attractive, but it is totally anti transit and anti urban. Honestly I have as I drove by tried to calculate the number of cows the land around the high rise might support. The fountain could become an important water source for the cattle Certainly the land is not currently used for human beings.
    This, along with architecture, in my mind should be, and is, the legacy of the Pevely building. It points to a completely dysfunctional leadership that cannot supply the urban design needed to support the Metro transit station at Grand and that mult-million dollar investment, among many other failures in leadership

    • Exactly, the Pevely does a great job on the corner. New urban infill buildings across Chouteau to the North would be great. The chain restaurant on the NE corner could also be replaced with an urban building in the future.

      The fix for the anti-urban placement of the Doisey building is to do new shallow liner buildings at the corner.


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