The LaSalle Building, located at the corner of Broadway and Locust in downtown St. Louis, was named after the French explorer Rene’-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle.
His explorations covered almost the entire Midwest region from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. His focus was on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, which he believed would reveal a western passage to China.
The building was designed by Isaac Taylor, architect of the 1904 World’s Fair, and was his first major commission following that landmark event. Construction was completed in 1909 and was the first building in St. Louis to use the simplex pile method, a foundation system in which a tube with a point was rammed into the soil until hitting bedrock 65 feet below. It was then filled with concrete and provided the most simple, efficient and economical alternative to the concrete-filled caissons, masonry walls and wooden piles which were commonly in use at the time.
In 1985, The Korte Company began extensive restoration for reuse. Interior renovations included new electrical systems and elevators, Additional improvements included upgraded mechanical and sprinkler systems.
The exterior restoration involved the removal of non-original porcelain panels and the replacement of missing terracotta and stone. The 13-story façade was cleaned and tuck pointed. When completed, the exterior had been restored to its original design.