ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – St. Louis’ iconic flying saucer building is lifting off once again, thanks to a battle that began brewing last year. They have traded burritos for barristas at the old Del Taco, otherwise known as “the flying saucer building” at Grand and Highway 40.
After being threatened with demolition, it reopened Friday morning as a Starbucks. Remodeling of the saucer began this summer, one year after preservationist helped persuade developer Rick Yackey to renovate the building instead of wrecking it.
The former Del Taco opened as a Phillips 66 gas station back in the 1960s and is considered a prime example of mid-century modern architecture. But more than that, a lot of people wanted to see it saved because it’s a fun and funky landmark.
To maker the property work, the developer is splitting the building into two businesses — the Starbucks and a Chipotle. So for those who enjoy coming from some Mexican delight, they’ll still have a chance to do that.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.