Founded in 1942, CPI was known as the recognized leader in portrait photography and was instrumental in the formation of the mass portrait market. From 1985 through early 2000, The Korte Company worked closely with CPI ownership to design and build a number of renovations and additions at their downtown St. Louis headquarters, a historically significant landmark located at 1706 Washington Avenue.
The initial renovation of the CPI building incorporated an extensive interior and exterior renovation that spanned a 4-year period. During all phases of reconstruction, CPI remained fully operational and occupied, a provision that required a comprehensive construction be put in place to ensure construction work would not interfere with daily activities of the facility and its residents.
The exterior renovation included the new construction of wood storefronts to match existing architecture, restoration of iron grilles, new sidewalks, new bay areas, and repairs to the structural concrete slab. In addition to structural restoration, the building’s terra cotta facade was repaired, tuck-pointed, primed and painted.
Interior renovation of the 9-story building included improvements and new construction throughout. Selective demolition was required before new construction was initiated. The multi-floor renovation included new surfaces, flooring and paint. In addition, an integrated sprinkler system was designed and installed.
Today, the building remains on the National Register of Historic Places.