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Thursday, May 31, 2012

St. Louis' AAA Building and Lyon School Make List of Missouri's Endangered Places

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge AAA Building: Endangered historic place or eyesore?
  • AAA Building: Endangered historic place or eyesore?
The AAA Building on Lindell Boulevard joined a ten other structures yesterday named on a new list of "Missouri's Most Endangered Historic Places."

Last summer a developer proposed raising the the mid-century building -- known for its oval design and glass walls -- around the same time that preservationists and adherents of cheap Mexican food were in an uproar over the proposed demolition of another saucer-shaped building, the Del Taco on Grand Avenue.

And while the Del Taco got a lot of love -- and even a Save Del Taco Facebook page -- the AAA Building generated few headlines.

Still, the AAA Building has not escaped the attention of Missouri Preservation, which added the structure to its annual list of endangered buildings. Last July the St. Louis Planning Commission gave preliminary approval to demolish the building to make way for a new CVS Pharmacy.

The plan had the approval of Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18) but not of Mayor Francis Slay, who opined on his blog:
"It is not my current impression that the amenity of a new chain drug store within blocks of a couple of existing ones or the very ordinary design of the proposed building is such a good."
Nearly a year later, the American Automobile Association continues to operate out of the building. An AAA spokesman did not immediately return our call for an update on the proposed plans for the CVS pharmacy.

Missouri Preservation also named Lyon Elementary School (below) at 7417 Vermont in south St. Louis on its list of endangered places.

The building dates back to 1910 but has sat vacant for several years. It was recently listed for $860,000, but we're told the price has dropped significantly following multiple acts of vandalism last year when kids broke out windows and set fire to the gymnasium. Copper thieves later gutted the building leaving thousand of dollars of damages in their wake. 

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