Earlier this month Saint Louis University angered and alarmed local preservationists when the school asked the city for permits to demolish the Pevely Dairy complex (above) at the southwest corner of Grand and Chouteau.
Now the St. Louis architecture buffs are fighting back.
Tomorrow at 3 p.m. they're planning a rally in front of the building in hopes of persuading SLU from tearing down the historic structure and to raise public awareness of the issue.
Randy Vines, whose clothing company, STL-Style, specializes in T-shirts that celebrate St. Louis and its neighborhoods, is one of the organizers for tomorrow's demonstration. He sees the Pevely building and its smokestack as iconic parts of the South City skyline.
Like the successful effort this past summer to save the Del Taco (a.k.a. "flying-saucer") building in Midtown, the effort to save the Pevely Dairy also has an aggressive Facebook campaign. Though it's going to take more than a few hundred "likes" to save the Pevely complex.
"For the Del Taco thing, we had a lot more time to organize and rally the troupes," Vine tells Daily RFT. "We hope that we can resonate with people in the same way with the Pevely."
The Pevely complex is listed on the National Historic Register, with the main building on Chouteau completed in 1915 and the brick smokestack finished in 1943.
Vines says he and other opponents of the demolition have no problem with the university using the Pevely complex to expand its SLUCare medical facility. It just their wish that the school does so in a way that preserves part of what's there now.
"There is no argument that says that this building can not be reused for their purpose," says Vines. "The easy way is not always the best way. You do not tear down a landmark because it is convenient."
The city's Preservation Board is slated to review the demolition permit for the Pevely complex on November 28th. Any and all supporters of site and St. Louis architecture in general are encourage to come out Saturday and stand in solidarity against the demolition.
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