On May 1st nextSTL reported on Covington Realty Partners’ proposal for a 14-story apartment tower to replace Schwarz & Van Hoefen’s 1962 landmark Optimist International Building at 4494 Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End (read about it here). We’ve since learned, however, that the Central West End Development Committee’s recommendations against granting tax abatement for the project have caused the developer to walk away, meaning that the Optimist Club’s graceful New Formalist colonnades may be around for years to come. This tentative stay of execution for yet another of Lindell’s modern gems is particularly important in light of 2009′s demolition of the San Luis Apartments (1963) across the street and the impending demolition of Society for Crippled Children Building to the east (1948).
Photographer and Modern STL volunteer Krystal Maurer prepared the following photo essay to document the Optimist Club’s elegant design. Here’s hoping that the building’s next suitor will appreciate it for its beauty and reuse potential rather than as a tear down for replacement.
Krystal Maurer is an elementary school teacher and aspiring photographer. She is passionate about mid-century modern design and architecture and enjoys photographing both. She lives in St. Louis with her mini schnauzer, Pepper.