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Location:  N.W. corner Seventh & Market Sts., St. Louis
Dates:  1902-1984
Architect: Albert Albert Swasey
The Buder Building was designed in 1901 by William Albert Swasey (FAIA), a nationally recognized architect whose work significantly influence building design in St. Louis. The construction of the Buder Building, once named the Missouri_Pacific Building, was regarded as a pivotal event marking the completion of the 1890's development plan for the west side of Seventh Street and also heralding a new vision for the revitalization of market Street.

The Buder Building was conceived as a major civic landmark, its unique location and physical appearance symbolizing the joining of old and new St. Louis. The St. Louis Globe Democrat noted in 1901 that, "property owners on Market Street will be greatly elated over the announcement that Corwin Spencer, the Arc Reality Company and W. Albert Swasey, the architect, have consummated their long-cherished plan of adorning Market and Seventh Streets... with a structure at once a beautiful thing to behold, an investment with promises of rich returns and a monument to that spirit of enterprise which is making a new St. Louis.

The announcement in the Globe democrat that the new building was scheduled for completion specifically "a year ahead of the day on which the World's Fair opens" is further testimony to it's link to the image of the new St. Louis and the Fair - the principal symbol of the city's renewal and hopes for future growth and prosperity.

Within a decade after the completion of the Wainwright Building in 1892, at least seven additional major tall building types lined Seventh Street between Locust and Market, fulfilling the civic leader's plan: The Mercantile club, the Union Trust, the Holland, the DeMenil, the Fullerton, the Title Guaranty and the Buder Buildings.

Faced in light buff brick, the Buder was embellished with white terra cotta at the two story base and two story capital and around the windows in the eight story shaft. It exhibited the richest and most extensive use of Beaux Arts/Renaissance Revival terra cotta ornament in the city. The primary entrance on Market Street is marked by rose granite pilasters and high relief terra cotta victory figures. The cornice projection was removed in 1948. 

The Beaux Arts Style was viewed as an expression of the "American Renaissance," and the "aspirations of a great people at a great epoch..." according to  Charles H. Reilly, author of McKim, Mead & White. Constructed for approximately $600,000, the Buder Building is by far the finest example of the style remaining in the city and the state comparable to the best remaining examples nationally.

Information compiled by Landmarks Association of St. Louis, Inc.


This page was last updated on 12/20/09