ST. LOUIS – Another vacant landmark building in downtown St. Louis is now being hit hard by crime: the former Millennium Hotel. Its cylindrical tower has been a fixture on the riverfront for decades, just south of the Gateway Arch.
FOX 2 has obtained police records showing a growing number of calls for burglaries and suspicious activity inside the building. The lower levels are covered with boarded windows. People have been stealing various metals, like copper wiring, for scrap, according to police.
The same thing has been rampant inside the beloved, former Famous Barr department store, also known as the Railway Exchange building.
The two buildings have absentee owners. A Texas company owns the former Millennium. A Florida company owns the former Famous Barr.
The City of St. Louis Problem Properties Unit is pushing them to step up preservation efforts.
There are signs of that happening: a new security presence at the former Millennium, with new exterior portable lighting.
Demolition of a pedestrian bridge that has been a main entry point and gateway for criminal activity at the former Famous Barr has just begun in the past week. The number of people now getting in that building has dropped by nearly 80%, authorities said.