Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jamie Cannon; Architect and a Strong Advocate for the Preservation of Old St. Louis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jamie Cannon; Architect and a Strong Advocate for the Preservation of Old St. Louis

Article excerpt

Jamie Cannon, who died this week at age 85, was an architect who fought to keep St. Louis' historic past intact and its future bright.

He didn't stop at trying to preserve buildings. When a series of major corporations was sold to outsiders in 1999, he wondered if there was "something in the water" causing so many companies to flee St. Louis.

"Well-paid boards hire hustler executives to run what were once world-class companies and then, a decade or so later, we learn that the executive has become wealthy beyond belief and the company has a new name in another town ..." ," he wrote.

"In 10 years," he added, "we just might learn that we have run out of both companies and promising young people and realize, to our dismay, that we have become Tulsa."

Jamie Goodman Cannon died Monday (Oct. 15, 2012) at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield. He lived in Town and Country and had been diagnosed with lung cancer, his family said Thursday.

Although Mr. Cannon had worked at HOK, one of the nation's premier architectural and design firms, and led his own firm, he wasn't a traditional architect.

For one thing, he didn't design buildings.

"My dad really didn't have the patience to sit and design a building or detail it," said a son and architect, John Cannon of Chesterfield.

Mr. Cannon was a wiz at selling projects and marketing his firm. At HOK, where he worked for 15 years, he was director of corporate and industrial services. He left in 1984 to found his own firm, what later became Jamie Cannon Associates.

Fellow architects elected him president of the American Institute of Architects St. Louis chapter. He was the longtime president of the Landmarks Association, the leading advocate for preserving old buildings.

He fought to preserve the 108-year-old Century Building, once home to the downtown Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney department store.

The effort failed, and developers demolished the Century for a parking lot. Preservationists blamed the city. Mr. Cannon publicly took on a national group that sided with the city, the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Mr. Cannon took on the city and the Cardinals over tearing down Busch Stadium, which he described as "the most hurtful and needless demolition in St. …

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