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People & Places

Best Old Building 

The DeBaliviere Building

When it comes to architecture, St. Louis has an embarrassment of riches. Even with the loss of many great buildings in recent years, there are still wonderful examples of almost every trend in American architecture for the last two centuries. With such a wealth of options to admire, sadly, a few great buildings are bound to go underappreciated. Such is the case with the DeBaliviere Building, located at DeBaliviere Avenue and Delmar Boulevard. Isadore Shank designed this building early in his career, around 1928, and its style certainly reflects the optimistic era in which it was built. With its Art Deco terra-cotta façade, it could be a set piece from an ancient science-fiction film. Yet despite its splendid charm, the building stands on a somewhat less-traveled part of Delmar, a simple home to storefront businesses whose tenants are likely oblivious that they occupy such a unique structure.

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