The Record Exchange at 5320 Hampton Avenue in South St. Louis has put their (nearly historic) building up for sale so they can move to a bigger place. Here’s the sales brochure:
Hilliker gives it only one page. Very dull way to sell an exciting building. I’ve covered this building a few times (including a b&w study from 2001 on this page). It has been covered on Built St. Louis. So the realtor could legitimately say it’s a “much-talked about, much-loved building.”
Another selling point: this building recently made it onto the Final 40 List of the City of St. Louis Mid-Century Modern Survey. The night we attended the public meeting, it got an awful lot of votes. It stands a very good chance of making it to the Top 20 that will receive full documentation of its worthiness.
The owner of the building and the record store, Jean Haffner, knows his 1961 building by architect Joseph H. Senne is pretty special. But he was pleasantly surprised it had made it onto an MCM survey.
It is true they need a bigger place, something “about the size of a grocery store” said Haffner. (Side Note: the FYE at Hampton & Chippewa was originally opened in 1958 as a National Food Store.) They now do the bulk of their business on-line (at this site) and need to be better able to access their inventory while adding to it. Thus, a bigger building.
Have there been any interested buyers?
Haffner says yes. Including a party that would like to turn it into an art gallery as inspired by the metal mobile in the lobby:
This piece is titled “Pomegranate” and was designed for the library by a nationally-recognized artist whose name I was told, but forget. The Record Exchange is an overly stimulating place, so it’s an accomplishment that I remember this much of our conversation.
UPDATE: Thank you to reader Hillary who leaves the name of the artist in the comment – Fred Dreher. And thanks to Sally for this article about Dreher.
According to Mr. Haffner, he made sure it stayed with the building when he bought it in 1999, and at this point, the mobile alone is worth more than the asking price of the building.
They do need to sell the Buder in order to buy a new place. Here’s hoping the perfect buyer who loves the building as is comes along so everyone wins.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who sent messages and photos about the For Sale sign in front of the Buder. It’s impressive to have all these eyes on the street who also have my back and share this kind of information. You’re awe-inspiring!
SUMMER 2015 UPDATE
Thank you to Hillary Hitchcock for finding and sharing this newspaper piece about the mobile in the lobby:
Toby, I finally found a photo I took of the article about the pomegranate installation. I’ll Facebook message it to you.
Was in the store this past weekend and Mr. Haffner says there’s a contract on the property. No word on who the buyer is or the proposed use.
Sally, thank you for more details on Fred Dreher. Very sweet of you.
Thank you Hilary for filling in for my gaping hole of a memory! That’s brilliant. Fred Dreher.
If you ever run acorss that article, please scan and pass along so I can add it to this article.
More about Fred Dreher in the The Southeast Missourian – Nov 8, 1952:
Paul, when your mother was nearing retirement time, I gave her a visual reminder every day for a year. When there were 76 days coming up, I went to the Redord Exchange and asked if they had “76 Trombones.” They did, and when I told them what it was for, they gave it to me free. When we moved out of our house, I gave them the records we still had on hand.
The artist’s name is Fred Dreher. I live in his house now. I haven’t gotten to see much of his work, but somewhere I have a copy of the newspaper article from when the mobile was installed.
We did discuss Calder, but he’s not the artist for the Record Exchange mobile. Rather, he was a contemporary inspired by Calder.
Alexander Calder designed the mobile. Nice to see he removed the disco ball.