St. Louis, MO (KTRS) Efforts are underway to save the historic Buster Brown building in north St. Louis.
The more than century old structure which housed the former shoe factory is subject to eminent domain as a result of the planned NGA headquarters. Owner Jim Osher wants to move the twenty-million pound building across the street and convert it into a show-themed hotel.
“This neighborhood has given a lot to me and I kind feel like this is a way I can give back to the community and provide jobs for the local area and provide more opportunities for the city in the future.” said Osher.
The Buster Brown Building currently is located at 1526 Jefferson Avenue. The move would place it at the former site of the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex at Jefferson and Cass.
“I think it would be a shame to put something like a QuikTrip or something like that, I think with Pruitt-Igoe and all the history that’s happened there, I think it deserves a something as a corner stone to what was once there and I think this could be a symbol of change.” added Osher.
Mike Rasch, a supporter of this effort says its a way to preserve St. Louis history. “It’s the original Buster Brown factory. Why would you tear that down? It’s St. Louis history and it’s going to put St. Louis on the map.”
Moving the building would require hydraulic lifts and would take about four months.
Osher held a community party outside of the Buster Brown Building on Thursday to promote this effort.
The entire project, including the move is estimated at $20 million. The plan is subject to the NGA’s final decision on it’s new western headquarters. That is expected to be announced in early June.