Mid-century St. Louis

Modern STL Update

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Modern STL Now Has 501(c)3 Status

When Toby Weiss called together modernist aficionados and preservationists in 2010, the first order of business was organizing cocktail parties at cool retro pads. The quickly-elected second item was creating a new mid-century modern preservation organization. Modern STL incorporated in September 2010, but all along has only dreamed of the esteemed 501(c)3 federal tax-exempt status.

The Internal Revenue Service beat Santa to our mailbox this year with notification: Modern STL now has 501(c)3 status. This means that all of your donations and membership fees are fully exempt, and can be claimed as deductions on your federal income tax forms.

Ah, yes, what a great time to become a member!

Another MCM Loss in Clayton, City Without a Preservation Ordinance


In early November, the diminutive neo-formalist bank building at 7520 Forsyth Boulevard — shown here standing its ground against encroaching high-rise development — bit the dust. The straw-strewn site of what was built as the St. Louis County National Bank's Auto Bank in 1970 no doubt will lure new development, while marking the failure of Clayton to review demolition at all.

Clayton has no historic preservation ordinance at all, so while the AAA and owner of the "flying saucer" were denied demolition in the City, owners of similar landmarks in the second downtown can demolish with impunity.

If the clustered concrete columns oft the little bank do not strike your eye's fancy, perhaps the streamline curve of the 1948 Samuel Marx-designed Famous-Barr store across the street does. Or the International Style mass of Harris Armstrong's award-winning Shanley Building of 1937 a few blocks away. the owners of these buildings also could demolish them at any time without public review, under Clayton's current system.

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