The Kranzberg Arts Foundation, in collaboration with the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, is set to acquire and revitalize two century-old Olive Street buildings that St. Louis University (SLU) had initially planned to demolish. The project aims to enhance connectivity between the Midtown and Grand Center neighborhoods, fostering a vibrant arts scene. The Kranzberg Arts Foundation played a pivotal role in revitalizing the Grand Center neighborhood, home to the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
Initially purchased by SLU, the buildings faced demolition until preservationists, led by the Landmarks Association, rallied to save them. Criticism was directed at SLU for the lack of a clear plan for the site. Despite not having official historic designation, the properties hold historical significance, one having belonged to renowned restaurateur Tony Faust in the late 1800s.
After public backlash, SLU decided to sell the buildings, and with no buyer, they intended to proceed with demolition. However, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation intervened, presenting an exciting opportunity to contribute to a thriving arts district and provide new community benefits. The revitalization effort is viewed as another positive step in rejuvenating the core of St. Louis, with SLU’s vice president of facilities expressing enthusiasm for the collaboration. The Landmarks Association is proud to have played a role in preserving these historic buildings and looks forward to their redevelopment under the Kranzberg Arts Foundation.