Built St. Louis > > Central Corridor > > Washington Avenue
November 2005, with streetscape improvements.
1007 Washington Avenue
Architect: Eames & Young, 1902
Remodel: Meyer Loomstein with Sascha Schnittman, 1946
The building is of turn-of-the-century vintage, built by Washington University as an investment property, but it was redefined in 1946 with a stylish Moderne slipcover for the Dorsa Company. Within, a sleek and elegant display space remains largely intact.
The building was purchased by Pyramid Construction, with the intention to renovate it with lofts above and retail at the street. Pyramid's collapse brought the work to a halt in 2007, and the building remained some while in half-renovated limbo. A new owner took over, and work has progressed far enough that the long-missing "DORSA" letters on the exterior were replaced in 2008. Two horizontal fins remain to be replaced (the projecting rods are structural supports for the replacements); they are necessary to restore the balance of the facade's original design.
It is fortunate and happy that the newer facade will remain intact. Too often, MidCentury works such as this are treated as desecrations to be scrubbed away, rather than celebrated on their own merits. And more practically, often there's not a whole lot left of the original to salvage.
Dorsa Lofts web site (last updated August 2007)
The Dorsa, "The Ultimate in Mode Moderne" at B.E.L.T., with spectacular interior photos and vintage renderings.
Dorsa Building at Ecology of Absence