Burnham Development Corporation

The Frisco Building

Designed by Eames and Young, one of St. Louis’ most prolific and important architectural firms, the Frisco Building was the headquarters of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company (FRISCO), located in St. Louis’ downtown business district. Completed in 1904, the 13-story structure is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Burnham Development Corporation hired Hastings+Chivetta for the renovation. Historic preservation was carried out without sacrificing modern conveniences. The interior was completely gutted and reconstructed as commercial office space. The bank of five in-line elevators was removed to make way for a new core, a major feature of the rehabilitation. The core contains four high-speed passenger elevators, a separate freight elevator, restrooms and exit stairs. The central piping, duct work, and wiring for the building’s mechanical system is also situated in the new core.

Entry to the Frisco Building is through a re-designed lobby featuring marbled tile and red-oak paneling with brass trim. Standard interior finishes include full-height red oak doors with brass trim, acoustical ceilings and new carpeting.

Each level was rebuilt with new floors, ceilings and walls. Outside walls were insulated and all windows were replaced with energy-efficient units that matched the design of the original windows.

The exterior renovation replicated the original appearance. The building’s original masonry and terra cotta exterior were in good condition, and they were carefully cleaned and re-caulked as part of the renovation. The only crumbling exterior was along with rim of the first floor, which was replaced and 44 majestic lion heads were added which match lion busts that line the 13th floor exterior.


Project Details

    • Gross Square Feet
    • 180,000
    • Completion Date
    • 1984
    • City
    • St. Louis
    • State
    • MO
    • Client Type
    • Private