Some of the city’s most recognizable buildings were acknowledged when Landmarks Association presented its 2015 “Most Enhanced Awards.” Landmarks Executive Director Andrew Weil recognized 14 projects, one of which was the meticulous restoration of the Old Cathedral. For 19 years, Landmarks has recognized excellence in the restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of St. Louis’ architectural heritage. Selection is based on the difficulty of the project, its transformational effect on the surrounding area, the architectural significance of the project, and on the project’s power to inspire.
The Old Cathedral is one of the few buildings remaining in the city that has essentially witnessed the evolution of St. Louis. After facing years of catastrophes, in the end it was moisture that would prove to be the biggest threat to the building’s future. This set in motion a $15 million restoration program with Mackey Mitchell Architects and Musick Construction Company leading the renovation effort. Working closely with historic masonry specialist John Speweik of Chicago, stone supplier Earthworks, Evergreene Architectural Arts and St. Louis Antique Lighting among others, the entire team brought the building back to life. At the ceremony, Weil remarked, “If you haven’t been to the building recently, I strongly encourage everyone to go and see the transformation. The collective effort is jaw dropping!”