Infrastructure experts CH2MHill called on CORE10 to help them turn this 1970s renovation of a historic 1945 adaptive reuse of three 1920s buildings into a 21st century home for the restored classic trolley cars of the new Loop Trolley system - St. Louis' first active trolleys in fifty years.
In 2011 we explored the abandoned space and documented it's condition for the design team. Over the next two years we led the design process to restructure the working parts of the building and restore the historically significant 1945 art deco facade to NPS standards.
CORE10 worked with Kris Zapalac of Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). It was Kris’ job to enforce National Parks Service rules to ensure compliance for federal transportation department funding. The entire renovation was guided by one poor quality 1942 drawing, the research completed as part of the National Register application, and our discoveries before demolition.
The eyebrow canopy and curved glass entry were not evident in the original conditions, however they were hinted at by the drawing and by marks CORE10 discovered on a once-concealed ceiling.
The “historically significant” features on which the National Register designation was based were hidden beneath 40 years of subsequent renovations. CORE10 had to sort out which items to keep and which to remove.
Limestone was repaired with exhaustively detailed cleaning and patching methods specified in cooperation with SHPO. Our specifications included precise review and approval milestones by SHPO, tightly coordinated with the construction timeline to avoid unnecessary delays.
The windows on the south façade were carefully designed to replicate the existing site lines and layout, but in new insulated energy-efficient windows.
The end result is a facility that has undergone extensive restoration on the south side and exterior envelope to bring conditions back as closely as possible to the 1945 significant period.
This required repair of brickwork going back to the 1920s alongside raising a portion of the roof installed in the 1970s and making seismic upgrades to portions of the east wall which collapsed during demolition.
CORE10s work included documentation of existing conditions and coordination of photographic evidence with proposed renovation drawings to achieve SHPO approval prior to bidding and construction.
We also worked closely with local developer Joe Edwards to ensure that the historic renovations were also compliant with his long-term plans for the office spaces and street façade. We even found and coordinated the historically-inspired neon letters that now adorn the building.
Now the cars are running down Delmar from University to Forest Park and the new HQ will soon welcome visitors to see the trolleys as they are restored and maintained for the next generation.