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Plan to demolish part of historic Central West End building met with disapproval by city preservation officials

St. Louis-based developer Lux Living is proposing a 7-story apartment complex with 200 units at the historic headquarters of the Engineers’ Club
Credit: SLBJ
This rendering shows an aerial view of the proposed conversion of the Engineers' Club in the Central West End to a 7-story apartment complex, built around the partially demolished club in the center with the complex's pool.

ST. LOUIS — City of St. Louis preservation officials are recommending that a city board reject a developer’s proposal to partially demolish and reuse the historic Engineers’ Club in the Central West End as a luxury apartment complex.

St. Louis-based developer 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 city’s Cultural Resources Office recommended Friday that the St. Louis Preservation Board deny preliminary approval of the demolition when it meets Monday, saying the “loss of half the building would be a significant loss to the city’s architectural history.”

Although the facade of the building would look the same from Lindell Boulevard, the Cultural Resources Office said that construction of the large apartment complex next to it would “greatly alter the current character of the block and site.”

A prolific developer of apartment complexes in St. Louis, 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 Optimist headquarters, the Engineers’ 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. 

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