The new owner of the 36-year-old AT&T tower in St. Louis seeks national historic status | Local business
ST. LOUIS – How much history can an office tower built in 1986 have?
The new owner of the old AT&T building in downtown St. Louis – an abandoned skyscraper of glass and steel – wants it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That designation could give the owner enough allowance to help secure the building’s future.
SomeraRoad Inc. based in New York, purchased the 44-story building for $4.1 million in Aprilare arguing that the tower deserves such a nomination, thanks to its postmodern design and globally renowned architect, St. Louis.
Being on the National Register may allow SomeraRoad to receive historic state and federal tax credits that will help pay for its redevelopment.
The National Register of Historic Places is the country’s official list of buildings and sites that the National Park Service deems worthy of conservation and protection. There are thousands of registered structures, from a dam and reservoir in California to the Wall Street Historic District in New York City. This designation is somewhat symbolic and does not mean that a property cannot be destroyed or altered, unless otherwise provided by local law. But the registry could be a breeze for developers: Tax credits could go up tens of millions of dollars for big projects.
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The St. Louis is expected to review SomeraRoad’s claim on the building at 4 p.m. meeting Monday. If approved, the council will direct the city’s Office of Cultural Resources to certify the property to the National Registry.
Outdated office building, vacant since 2017, will likely require millions of dollars to be adapted for new use in a struggling central business district where few large companies are located. more than ever.
SomeraRoad has yet to announce its redevelopment plans for the property, which occupies an entire block at 909 Chestnut Street, a few blocks north of Busch Stadium.
Somera founder Ian Ross referred the question to Rosin Preservation, the Kansas City-based SomeraRoad company hired to lead its National Register nomination.
“The general rule of the National Registry is that the building should be 50 years old,” Rosin Preservation’s Rachel Consolloy said in an email. “However, you can nominate a property that has gained significance within the last 50 years if it is of particular importance.”
Rosin Preservation and SomeraRoad believe the building’s postmodern architecture makes it an important example of the work of HOK, formerly known as Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum.
HOK designed the tower in the 1980s for AT&T, then known as Southwestern Bell. The top of the building, Consolloy said, is a subtle reference to another nearby Southwestern Bell building, showing how HOK has “professionally used its surroundings to deliver the design.”
The Office of Cultural Resources is asking the Conservation Board to approve the recommendation. That would allow the city to prepare a report for the Missouri State Office of Historic Preservation in support of the nomination.
If approved on Monday, the nomination will be presented July 15 to the Missouri Advisory Council for the Preservation of Monuments in Jefferson City before heading to the National Park Service. Consolloy said the property is expected to be added to the National Register by the end of September.
Preserving turpentine has helped a number of properties under the age of 50 listed on the National Register: “Flashcube Building“And Kemper Arena – both were erected in the 1970s in Kansas City.