Built St. Louis > > Vanished Buildings || Historic Downtown > > The Ambassador Theater

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Ambassador Building
Here's the much-touted "urban plaza" that Mercantile Bank put up next to their skyscraper.

It's a driveway.

St. Louis lost the Ambassador Building -- the last of downtown's old movie palaces, arguably among the finest such theaters remaining anywhere, to provide a quasi-public space with no pedestrian seating, no accomodations for street vendors, a miniscule patch of grass, and a driveway. There's nothing particularly "urban" about this "plaza".

Nothing about this space aids St. Louis's long-suffering downtown. Even on the level of superficial appearances, the boarded-up Ambassador was more attractive and inviting than this forbidding, generic space.

In a darkly amusing twist, the driveway was blocked off with orange cones for many months in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

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