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Hey Heidi: What's the story behind the old Armory?

The history and the future of the old Armory you see from 40

Behind a chain link fence at Market and Prospect is a giant piece of St. Louis history.
"Each one of these floors is about 81,000 square feet," Philip Hulse, Managing Principal of Green Street St. Louis points out.
They are walls that once surrounded Wimbledon champions.
"Well for a long period of time this was a practice facility for Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Butch Buchholz," Hulse says.
And legendary musical acts.
"Grateful Dead, James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, The Byrds."
Of course the old Armory you see from Highway 40 was built in the 30's for the 138th infantry.
"1938, 39 that's when it opened up." 
In the 80's it was better known as Getaway Indoor Sports Complex, a place Frank Palliser and his brothers ran.
"We had 120 teams a week playing," Palliser adds.
Boards eventually went up on the windows and chains locked the doors, but now about two decades later Hulse plans to pull down those old boards and create an office space unlike anything in St. Louis.
"So when you look at a cutaway of the building there will be three floors of office, underground parking. an atrium that will allow you to see all the way up that's kind of a public space," Hulse explains.
There's obviously a lot of work to be done, but the bones of this magnificent structure are still intact.
"There is a pool here that we're going to keep.  Not very many office buildings have their own pool."
A tour of the place is a reminder of just how incredible it was.  Each floor featuring something sort of spectacular.
"Unfortunately, there's no lights, but this is the handball courts," Palliser points out.
Step over pieces of wood and glass and you'll find the old seats still bolted down.  Go through several doors and you discover the shooting range.
So the old Armory might be tattered and tarnished, but it's future is quite bright.
"The area is going to be called the Armory District because it's more than the Armory.  We're trying to connect this with City Foundry, Cortex, St. Louis U campus," Hulse says.

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