Updating the Public Face

Gravois Avenue & Hamburg
South St. Louis, MO

Just southwest of the River Des Peres is Chippewa Glass & Mirror. Not sure how long they’ve been around (though at least since the early 1980s when I used to file their invoices while temping at PPG, a glass wholesaler), but wouldn’t it seem they once used to be located on Chippewa, hence the name?

In Fall 2009, they began the remodeling work shown above. They added an ADA ramp and clad it in a handsome natural stone, which ran around to the front of the building and stopped abruptly, in mid-stream.

Actually, all work stopped for the longest time, leaving the building looking forlorn and undressed.  This building dates from 1908, an era of great modesty, so was probably embarrassed to be seen in its skivvies!

Come the change from winter to spring, they completed the remodel in rather quick fashion. All that remains to be done is a new sign. I love the clean, modern look of the place, all industrial and stone, which is a nice combo.  It is a radical new public face for a previously unassuming building, but rather than be a groaner of a remuddle, it’s well thought out, gutsy and spunky.

I also adore that they have reused and updated a long-standing building, giving it a whole new look for a new century rather than take the easy way out by either moving or demolishing to build new. This is a fine example of acting on “the greenest building is one already standing. A hearty round of B.E.L.T. applause to these business owners for improving their portion of the city streetscape!