Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch

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Discover Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch, which was once the Merchants Laclede Building, one of the first offices with fireplaces.

Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch was constructed at a time when the United States was defined by great economic prosperity, industrial expansion, and significant social reform.

Named after two of its bank tenants, the eight-story Merchants Laclede Building was completed between 1886 and 1888, and remains one of the oldest examples of St. Louis's tall fireproof structures. Located at 4th and Olive, the Merchants Laclede was one of the first office buildings in the country to have individual fireplaces in the offices. Originally established as the Laclede National Bank, the building was specially designed for the local banks and brokerage firms during the 1880s, when St. Louis’s economy was booming. Today, the hotel still houses the original bank vaults from the 1880s. By 1890, St. Louis’ population grew to the 5th largest in the nation, and the bank was part of the commercial epicenter. Many St. Louis corporations have called the Merchants Laclede Building home. In the 1950s, Fleishman-Hillard was first headquartered in Merchants Laclede. Ozark Air Lines was born in the building, and the Lewis-Rice and Lowenhaupt laws firm both had its offices in the historic landmark. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was also home to shoe shiner Johnny Redmond, and Tillie, who sold cigarettes in the lobby. The Merchants Laclede Building was known for its racy stonework, particularly a large terracotta architectural detail looming high above Olive Street. This building, once regarded as a pioneer building in downtown St. Louis, was sold for $250,000 in 1994, which translates into $2.50/sq. ft. Once the most exciting building in St. Louis, the Merchants Laclede has come again to rise to this stature, as the Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch.

  • About the Architecture +
    Named after two of its bank tenants, the eight-story Merchants Laclede Building was completed between 1886 and 1888, and remains one of the oldest examples of St. Louis's tall fireproof structures. Located at 4th and Olive, the Merchants Laclede was one of the first office buildings in the country to have individual fireplaces in the offices. Originally established as the Laclede National Bank, the building was specially designed for the local banks and brokerage firms during the 1880s, when St. Louis’s economy was booming. Today, the hotel still houses the original bank vaults from the 1880s.

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