AT&T Leaves Iconic Downtown Tower

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – AT&T’s mark on the St. Louis skyline is about to change.

The tower at 909 Chestnut St., built in 1986 as Southwestern Bell’s headquarters, later bore the S.B.C. logo. That company moved to Texas, purchased AT&T, changed its name, and now we have the familiar globe gazing over Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch. But with telecommuting and fewer people paging through phone books, there are fewer employees sitting at desks downtown. So AT&T is leaving the tower.

AT&T Missouri President John Sondag says the company is investing millions in the two other buildings it owns downtown.

“At 801 Chestnut we have a corporate data center, it’s one of our largest ones in the company, it’s where all our employee paychecks are processed and sent out, and at 1010 Pine, four floors of that building is a central office that serves all of downtown,” he says.

1010 Pine, the Gothic-looking tower next-door, is getting upgrades to open work-spaces, and to drill new technology into the old building, while preserving its architecture, Sondag says.

In addition to the buildings downtown, AT&T has offices in Des Peres. Sondag says at this time, none of the employees that will be leaving the tower will be leaving the city limits.

Sondag’s own office moves from the gray tower to the Gothic tower next month. The company has to completely vacate 909 Chestnut by the end of September.

One thing he’ll miss, that AT&T globe logo shining over the city, but there is a replacement in the works.

“We will have a new corporate AT&T globe on the south side of 1010 Pine, probably up around the 22nd, 23rd floor. I think it’ll be seen by, you know everything going south,” he says.

The AT&T Tower is 1.4 million square feet, the largest building downtown. Efforts are underway to try and find a company or, more likely, companies to fill the space. Find the Total Information A.M. podcast at KMOX.com to hear the AT&T Missouri President’s prognosis for downtown.

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