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Symphony says it will demolish historic home for Powell Hall expansion

Items from the Culver House will be salvaged before the home is torn down, SLSO said.
Credit: City of St. Louis
3514 Delmar Blvd., targeted for demolition for an expansion of the symphony's Powell Hall in Grand Center.

ST. LOUIS — he St. Louis Symphony Orchestra said Thursday that it would carry out its plan to demolish the historic Culver House on Delmar Boulevard to make way for an eastward expansion of its Powell Hall.

In a statement, the organization said that "while developer Steve Smith offered free land to anyone willing to support the move and restoration of the building, efforts in that direction have not been fruitful."

The symphony, which owns the home, said in April it met with two home relocation companies and got bids from $2.4 million to $3.2 million.

Therefore, it said, BSI Constructors on Monday will begin preliminary utility work and hazardous materials abatement at the site, 3514 Delmar Blvd. BSI is applying for a demolition permit Thursday, the symphony said, adding that Geotechnology Inc. in January "completed a survey and regulated materials inventory and indicated the continued presence of asbestos and lead paint."

"Parts of the building with artistic significance will be salvaged prior to deconstruction," it said. "Items expected to be salvaged from the structure include copper cornices, interior woodwork, pocket doors, fireplaces, and exterior masonry. The SLSO will save some items and is working with groups and individuals on other items that will be salvaged."

The symphony also said it looked at incorporating Culver into its Powell Hall expansion plan, but determined it wasn't feasible "given that the building could not support the core mission of the SLSO, in addition to challenges and costs of addressing code requirements, accessibility limitations, configuration obstacles, uneven floor levels and environmental control obstacles."

The symphony in March unveiled a $100 million renovation and expansion of its home, Powell Hall in Grand Center.

Read the rest of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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