Beat up facade of the Palladium Building

photo by: Paul Sableman

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Palladium Building

  • Constructed: 1913-14
  • Location: St. Louis, MO

Constructed between 1913 and 1914 by the Palladium Amusement Company as a roller rink, the Palladium Building housed a nightclub in the 1940s that—although restricted to a whites-only clientele—played a prominent role in the development of African American music. Advertised as the largest club of its kind in St. Louis, the venue featured three floor shows each night featuring African American jazz musicians and orchestras. Over the years, many well-known national artists performed there including Nat King Cole, Jimmie Lunceford, the Mills Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Carter. St. Louis’ contributions to American music reveal a legacy greater and more significant than previously understood, and the Palladium is a central part of this story.

“The Palladium is one of the last remaining links to St. Louis’ important role as a center for African American music in the 20th century.”

Stephanie Meeks

"The Palladium is one of the last remaining links to St. Louis' important role as a center for African American music in the 20th century," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "Rather than demolishing this vital piece of America's historic fabric, it should be restored to once again serve as a cultural center for the people of St. Louis."

The Palladium is one of St. Louis’s last remaining buildings with a link to the city’s significant music history. Palladium faces an uncertain future because it is not protected by local or national historic designations and, because of its location, is not covered by the City’s demolition review ordinance. Vacant for many years, increased awareness of the Palladium’s plight would add momentum to the work already underway by Landmarks Association of St. Louis and Friends of the Palladium Building to formally recognize the building’s historic significance and identify a path forward for this important cultural landmark.

The Palladium Building was included on the Trust's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list for 2014.

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