Constructed in 1910 for the Morgens Brothers cleaning and dyeing company, this large commercial building has been a landmark in Midtown for over a century. Suffering after multiple extended periods of vacancy, Saint Louis University decided to capitalize on the building’s superior location adjacent to the campus, the new Chaifetz Arena, and the burgeoning Locust Business District for a boutique hotel. Informed by historic images provided by Landmarks Association, renovations to the facade, as well as the former showroom and warehouse began in June of 2010 and proceeded with astounding speed.
Of course, the speed and skill with which the project was completed becomes slightly less astonishing and more par-for-the-course when one considers that design and contracting work was provided by the more-than-capable hands of the Lawrence Group. As we have seen with many loft projects, large former warehouse spaces were aptly suited for conversion to well-lit and spacious interior rooms, and the showroom was pre-disposed to work well as a lobby. The beautifully appointed, art-themed hotel contains 49 unique guest rooms, two suites, a cafe, a Spanish wine and tapas bar, business center, exercise room, art gallery, wireless internet throughout, and many green features right down to the bamboo-derived linens and towels.
Hotel Ignacio welcomed its first overnight guests on April 7th and the now-occupied building has had an immediate positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
There is no doubt that this project had lasting benefits for Grand Center and the Locust Business District, as well as providing a memorable hotel experience for SLU student and parents in the immediate vicinity of the University.