Subscribe for 99¢

Preservationists keen on saving the historic Shanley Building in Clayton will crank it up to protest mode on Saturday.

The planned rally and protest march come on the heels of a petition drive that aims to save the architectural landmark at 7800 Maryland Avenue.

Shanley Building

A photo of the Shanley Building included as part of an application to be included on the National Register of Historic Places. The photos were taken in 1981 by Esley Hamilton, preservation historian for the St. Louis County Parks and Recreation Department

Preservation group ModernSTL will host the rally, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Louis Artists' Guild, 12 North Jackson Avenue in Clayton.

The Shanley is on the National Register of Historic Places and is generally recognized as the first International Style building in the Midwest. 

"The Shanley Building is an important piece of St. Louis' architectural history and we feel it's our duty to do whatever we can to raise our voices against its destruction," group president Nathan Wilber said.

The building is slated to come down to accommodate a $270 million development by Fred Kummer's HBE Corp. The company is aware of the building's history, but said the entire half-block area is "clearly in need of redevelopment."

Local historian Andrew Raimist will kick off the rally at the guild office with a presentation about Shanley architect Harris Armstrong. Then, attendees will be invited to march to the Shanley with protest signs.

Architect Harris Armstrong

Harris Armstrong

When the Shanley was completed in 1936, it was highlighted in both Architectural Record and Architectural Review and won a silver medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1937.

After that project, Armstrong was in high demand and went on to design more than 100 structures in the area before he died in 1973.

His most notable works include the Ethical Society of St. Louis in Ladue; the Magic Chef building in St. Louis; Cori House in Glendale; and Grant Medical Building in the Central West End.

Joe's St. Louis e-newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.