Take A Walk On The Wild Side: BILTna Arch Tour

St. Louis has a rich architectural history and BILTna would like to take this opportunity to invite you all on a walking tour of the city and two exceptional architectural offices: Cannon Design and HOK. The walking tour is on Wednesday, August 8 from 2pm to 5pm and costs $20 a person. So please fly into St. Louis early and join us!

The tour will begin at 2pm in the afternoon in the Grand Hall of the Union Station Hilton hotel. We’ll kick off with a tour of the Union Station Hotel’s architectural history with local historian Darlene Menietti.


The gorgeous Grand Hall was the main waiting room. Its 65-foot barrel vaulted ceiling featured an elegant two-ton wrought-iron chandelier with 350 light bulbs. Inspired by the walled city of Carcassone in southern France, architect Theodore C. Link designed an elegant and modern version of a feudal passageway. And the midway was the real place to see. The platform, surrounded by a highly admired steel and glass wall decorated with ornamental wrought iron gates, held an exciting view of the trains coming and going. When America entered WWII, both the chandelier and the midway wall were sacrificed to the war efforts.

At 2:30pm we’ll begin our walk to Cannon Design, which will take about 15 minutes. Once we arrive at Cannon Design we’ll take a 15 minute tour through their wonderfully renovated historic building. “CannonDesign is an integrated global design firm that unites a dynamic team of architects, engineers, industry experts and builders driven by a singular goal — to help solve our clients’ and society’s greatest challenges.”


After standing vacant for nearly 30 years, the 19,000 sf Power House building in downtown St. Louis opened as CannonDesign’s St. Louis office. Constructed in 1928 and designated as a landmark by the National Historic Register, the Power House provides coal-fired steam heat to a dozen downtown buildings until its decommissioning in 1980. Although the building’s exterior shell and original structural steel were fundamentally sound, significant imagination and rigorous design analysis were required to convert the building for workplace use.

New floors were cantilevered within the building’s massive volume to create a total of 32,000 sf of office and conference space. The floors are set back from the building’s spectacular windows to maintain the sense of transparency and volume. Exterior improvements included creation of a 3,500 sf urban garden and historically accurate replacement of windows in their original masonry openings.

At 3pm we’ll begin our walk to HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.


We use design to enrich people’s lives and help organizations succeed. Our 1,700 people collaborate across a network of 23 offices on three continents. HOK’s mission is to deliver exceptional design ideas and solutions for our clients through the creative blending of human need, environmental stewardship, value creation, science and art.

Our design solutions result from a collaborative process that encourages multidisciplinary professional teams to research alternatives, share knowledge and imagine new ways to solve the challenges of the built environment.

We will give a quick introduction to HOK, what we do, a tour of the office, and some exciting technology that we are always working on (VR/AR or similar).

At 4pm we’ll begin our walk back to the Union Station Hotel through the City Garden and Memorial Plaza, arriving about 4:20pm. Then we’ll enjoy a drink at the Grand Hall Bar Balcony until 5:00pm.

The tour is limited to two groups of 20 people. Please sign up early! Modify your registration and sign up!

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