In the late 1960s, two entirely different proposals went before the city for the redevelopment of Laclede's Landing, a nine-block area bordered by the Third Street Expressway on the west, the Mississippi River on the east, and Veterans and Eads bridges on the north and south.
One plan called River Center (model pictured above), advocated total redevelopment. Nine buildings, ranging from 12 to 51 stories, would rise from a platform terrace.
The most spectacular feature of the plan, which called for an investment of more than $100 million, would be the 550-foot-high central tower, with eight office floors and 43 residential and service floors.
In all, River Center would contain a 22-story motor hotel, a 17-story office building, two 31-story senior citizens' apartments, a 36-story middle income co-operative residence, two 36-story middle income towers, a 12-story spine building with middle income apartments and penthouse terrace units, and the central tower.
Provision were made for five levels of parking for 4,449 automobiles, shops, amusements, a 2-acre park and promenade levels.
The second proposal, which used the identifying name, Laclede's Landing (rendering above), followed an old-and-new concept that would retain about two-thirds of the existing buildings. New construction would be along the lines of the present structures in size and design. The plan involved an investment of about $40 million and a mixture of land uses.
Office space, hotels, apartments, town houses, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, an aquarium and light industry would be offered. The rendering above is of Lucas avenue and Second street, looking south towards the Gateway Arch.
On March 28, 1969, after hearing objections from the National Park Service that the River Center plan would mar the view of the Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted 27-1 to go ahead with the second Laclede's Landing plan, which preserved most of the original buildings.
The lone dissenting vote came from Alderman Anthony Mascazzini.