Press Release: 02.05.2014

Preserving for a New Use

How do you go about preserving a historic structure when the building’s use is dramatically changing?

McCarthy gladly took on this challenge when the firm was selected to renovate Saint Louis University’s Bauman-Eberhardt Center, formerly the West Pine Gym, into a state-of-the-art Center for Global Citizenship.

In 1925, the West Pine Gym was constructed for the Saint Louis University men’s basketball team. The 70,000-square-foot building was used for athletics and student gatherings for more than 80 years. On October 7, 1964, the building was the site of a speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Just one week later on October 14, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Exterior of Center for Global Citizenship at St. Louis University

Today the building is used to encourage students to develop into globally diverse leaders by using modern technology to connect with local and international communities. The center features a large internationally-themed student commons area surrounded by intercultural academic and student support programs. The state-of-the-art auditorium is divided by an impressive bridge with video screen comprised of 25 separate LCD’s and a retracting curtain. Conference rooms with worldwide teleconferencing abilities, as well as a classroom dedicated to supporting international teaching, are also in the facility. Fox Architects designed the space to be as flexible as possible in order to serve multiple purposes as needs change. 

McCarthy carefully planned all construction activity on this project. Specific efforts included:

  • The existing gym floor was repurposed as the floor for the auditorium and commons. 
  • Some structural modifications were made resolve soil remediation issues. 
  • New mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were installed, significantly increasing the building’s energy efficiency.
  • Previous concrete stadium seating was repurposed for a student study area.
  • Custom strip windows were designed and installed to fit the nearly hundred-year-old openings previously housing clerestory windows.
  • A 16’x16’ roll-around platform was used to access 34’ tall ceilings without damaging existing floors.

Salvaging this building and breathing new life into it with a new purpose has preserved its history while adding an asset to the campus and community.

sign up to receive insights

Sign up to receive McCarthy Insights