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Plan to demolish part of Engineers' Club for Central West End apartments denied by city board

Lux Living is proposing a 7-story apartment complex with 200 units
Credit: SLBJ
This rendering shows the facade of Lux Living's proposed apartment complex that would be built around the partially demolished and reused Engineers' Club in the Central West End.

ST. LOUIS — A city board that oversees development in historic districts withheld approval Monday from a proposal to demolish part of the historic Engineers’ Club in the Central West End as part of the construction of a high-rise apartment building.

The St. Louis Preservation Board voted 4-1 to withhold approval of the plan from St. Louis-based developer Lux Living, which has been a prolific developer of apartments in the Central West End.

Lux Living is proposing a 7-story apartment complex with 200 units at 4339 and 4359 Lindell Blvd., the historic headquarters of the Engineers’ Club, which is the third largest professional engineering society in the country.

The club was identified in a 2013 city survey as one of the most historic mid-century modern buildings in the city. The building was designed in 1965 in the Modern Expressionist style by St. Louis firm Russell, Mullgardt, Schwarz & Van Hoefen, and the city’s Cultural Resources Office had recommended against preliminary approval of the project because the “loss of half the building would be a significant loss to the city’s architectural history.”

Under the plan from Lux Living, part of the building would be demolished and the facade and some of the walls reused to house the pool of an L-shaped 7-story apartment complex built to wrap around the low-slung historic building. The new apartments would be constructed on the 4339 Lindell site, which is now a parking lot.

Lux Living previously suggested demolishing the historic Optimist International building nearby in the Central West End for an apartment complex. When that bid was first denied by the Preservation Board, Lux revised the plan to incorporate the existing Optimist building into the design. Like the Engineers’ Club, the Optimist building was designated as one of the best examples of midcentury modern architecture in the city. 

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