ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — This morning, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen takes up the issue of whether the iconic Del Taco “spaceship” on Grand Avenue should be saved — or torn down and replaced with a new retail development.
Those who support keeping the uniquely-shaped restaurant like its architecture, which has helped land it on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 10,000 Facebook users have protested the demolition since a page was created to save the structure.
But as KMOX reported last week, a wave of nostalgia alone won’t be enough to save the building. There’s a force at work stronger than historic preservation. It’s called Aldermanic courtesy — in effect, each lawmaker is the last word on development in his or her own ward, and when such projects come up for consideration, the rest of the board rubberstamps their approval.
There is however growing interest in the debate over Del Taco from City Hall. Mayor Francis Slay, on his blog, writes that if alderman approve a plan to demolish the site, he’ll ask the city’s cultural resources office to looking into it and recommend that the preservation board also get involved.