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All About Wellston Station Building Project

Visitors have been coming to Wellston Station Building in St. Louis to discover the secrets of this incredible Historic Building since 2000. Enjoy a complimentary guided walking tour with one of our friendly guides, take advantage of an informational audio-visual show explaining the history behind this Historic Building, or simply discover it in your own way.

About the Project: About

Statement of Purpose

Anchored in the past. Changing the future

The restoration of the Wellston Trolley Station will be a catalyst for the commercial revitalization of the Wellston Loop. As the premier project in the comprehensive community effort to bring vitality and business back to Wellston, the Trolly Station Project will create a multi-use commercial space that will spark minority entrepreneurism and mixed-use retail.

About the Project: Text

Intro Video

Wellston: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow

About the Project: Video


When was the Wellston Station built?  Is it now an Historical Building?

The Wellston Station, located at 6111 Martin Luther King Drive (formerly Easton Avenue and St. Charles Rock Road) in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, is a historical building recognized in the National Register of Historic Places for Transportation and Architecture.

The station was built by the United Railways Company in 1909 at a time in which the streetcar had replaced the electric railway as the dominant form of mass transit in St. Louis. The new station was the largest waiting station in the system, and one of only three such stations throughout the system sited as transfer points between major lines. The design of the station was intended to create a luxurious and efficiently-arranged building with a spacious waiting room, a store and covered tracks. Today, Wellston Station is the only waiting station standing.

The opening of the new streetcar line and station on Easton Avenue in 1909 signified the triumph of the streetcar over the electric railway and the growing importance of the Wellston commercial district, which straddled the line between Wellston and the city of St. Louis. The station was built to serve the Wellston Loop streetcar line.  It became one of the busiest streetcar transfer points in the country by 1940 and was the termination point for the last streetcar line in St. Louis to close. 

How was the Station constructed and will its historical features be preserved?

Architect Martin Arhelger designed the former streetcar station.  It is a one-and-a-half-story building with a wide front gable. The roof greatly overhangs the narrow center section of the building, where the first floor contains a storefront facing the street and a second floor consists of three offices.  A basement contains a second restroom, boiler room and storage space. The stairs are located at the northeast comer of the building.

The building utilizes loadbearing masonry walls coupled with wooden posts and iron I-beams for the center section. The roof structure is wooden with iron joiners. The roof and gable ends are clad in slate, and the second-floor walls under the overhang are clad in stucco on metal lath. Some alterations, deterioration and a small addition have occurred, but the building has its historic character and integrity intact.  The setting around the station remains similar to the date of its construction.

The developer intends to maintain the stations features that will allow it to remain an historical building.

How was the current developer selected and when did redevelopment begin?

The St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) and the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) awarded the opportunity to redevelop the Wellston Station Building property through competitive bidding which was completed in July, 2020.  A redevelopment contract was executed with the successful bidder in mid-September of the same year.  Construction began immediately after the contract signing with the initial work focused on stabilization of the historical building,

Who is the developer?

The developer of the property is FT Holding. FT Holding is a tax exempt 501(c) (3) organization that is a part of the Friendly Temple Baptist Church.  

The Friendly Temple Baptist Church has been an important part of the community in which it resides since the founding in 1955 by the Reverend Robert Fulton Davis.  The Church’s mission includes service to effect positive change within the people and communities it touches. 

The Church is located at 5553 Martin Luther King Drive, a short 1-mile walk from the Wellston Station.  The redevelopment of the Wellston Station is a part of this service to community that is the Church’s mission.   Today, Friendly Temple is led by Reverend Davis’ successor, Pastor Michael F. Jones whose video on this project can be viewed on this website.

What are the major goals of the Station redevelopment project?

The Wellston Station redevelopment serves the following major goals:

  • Promote business and workforce development in the surrounding community

  • Serve as a community gathering place for food, recreation and information exchange

  • Create a cornerstone for a Federal, State and local collaborative effort underway to grow and improve the community along MLK Dr. going East from the Station.

You can listen elsewhere on this website to community leaders talk about the overall importance of the Station redevelopment project and its importance to the local and greater St, Louis communities.

What facilities will be on the property when the redevelopment is completed?

When the first phase of redevelopment is complete, FT Holding expects to have the following on the .65-acre Station site, bounded by MLK Drive on the North and Hodiamont Avenue on the East:

  1. A refurbished trolley building with a ground floor restaurant second-story offices and meeting rooms, and an outdoor dining and meeting space under the surrounding porticos,

  2. A playground area with equipment,

  3. A 2-story office building expected to be primarily for use by minority-owned start-up businesses.  

  4. Community Gardens,

  5. A vintage trolley car with an interior space converted for dining, and

  6. Approximately 20 parking spaces. 

The entire space will be surrounded by a small enclosure anchored with 3-foot brick standards connected by painted black iron railing.   Architects’ renderings of the property when construction is finished can be seen throughout this website.

It is possible that some of these plans may be modified to accommodate long-term tenants whose usage is consistent with the goals for redevelopment. However, no such changes are contemplated at this time.

When will redevelopment of the Station Building property be completed?

Current estimates are for completion of the planned redevelopment at or around year end 2021.  We will provide regular updates on this website on how construction is progressing and any adjustments, forward or backward, to scheduled completion.

How will the redevelopment and maintenance of the property be paid for?

FT Holding received $300,000 from the Federal Housing and Urban Development organization (HUD) upon signing of the contract with SLDC.  This money is earmarked for construction to stabilize the current Station building.  These funds allowed work to begin almost immediately after signing of the contract. 

Until the property development is completed, all additional funds to pay for architectural, engineering and construction services, as well as materials used in construction, will be paid for with money donated for use in this project.   The developer estimates the additional funds needed for completion will be between $1.5 million and $2.0 million.

How can I donate to help pay the cost of redevelopment of the Wellston Station?

You can donate to this project:

  • Directly on this website.

  • By contacting Eric P. Marquardt at 312-925-1059, or can answer questions and assist you with any unique details you wish to have in structuring your donation

  • Or by mail, to Friendly Temple, attn: Felicia Pulliam, 5553 Martin Luther King Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112.

All donations will be to FT Holding a tax exempt 501 (c) (3) organization.  We expect your donations will be tax deductible for State and Federal tax purposes.   Donors are encouraged to seek the advice of their tax advisor and should not rely solely on this information in determining tax treatment of their donation to FT Holding.

Finally, it is not determinable with any certainty as yet if sufficient use fees will be generated after redevelopment is complete to pay ongoing maintenance expenses for the property.   If you are interested in making a sustaining contribution to cover or help defer ongoing maintenance, you should contact Eric Marquardt at the above phone or email. 

Other Questions?

You may use this website as one means to post other questions and get further information about this project.

About the Project: FAQ
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