Beyond typical gut and rehab beautification, converting the International Shoe Building into an upscale destination meant refurbishing not just the building, but the immediately adjacent electrical infrastructure. As a historic renovation in St. Louis’ downtown loft district, the ten-floor Last Hotel represented a uniquely challenging infrastructural conversion-in this case from the power needed to run early 20th Century manufacturing facilities to what’s needed for upscale, contemporary hospitality. First, the original building belongs the city’s antiquated power grid--using 208V power, whereas today’s facilities utilize higher voltages with 480/277V power. Restoration required a kind of careful archaeology, coordinating with Ameren to replace ancient equipment and trace dozens of unmapped, below-ground distribution lines, replacing them with an advanced, modern substation and new, safer and more versatile utility power.
This project was a shining lesson in utilizing modern technology as the conduit for constant communication. Close collaboration with Ameren, the local utility company, was necessary to the electrical construction process. Daily interaction between Guarantee, Ameren and the general contractor was vital. Guarantee’s modeling and preconstruction planning helped to set agendas, and paved the way for a clear, coordinated, end-to-end pathway for the project. Having cloud-based scheduling tools on their mobile devices enabled Guarantee’s foremen at the Last Hotel to act on exceptions and variances before they affected schedules. Even better, RFls and submissions could be shared, mitigating changes as needed by assigning, tracking and resolving issues virtually as soon as they happened.
Standing near the center of the City’s Loft District, the building was a among the last relics of St. Louis’s history as a major American industrial center, wherein shoe manufacturing along with brewing was nationally renowned.
First, the original building was on the city’s antiquated power grid--using 208V power, whereas today’s facilities utilize higher voltages with 480/277V power. Restoration required a kind of careful archaeology, coordinating with Ameren to replace ancient equipment and trace dozens of unmapped, below-ground distribution lines, replacing them with an advanced, modern substation and new, safer and more versatile utility power.
As with many older multi-story buildings, The Last Hotel needed a complete renovation and modernization of the secondary elevator shaft, to provide “channels” through the building to serve as pathways for routing updated power and ber optic communications to the facility. This included, for example, Guarantee’s deployment of innovative bus-duct risers to distribute power to all ten oors plus the rooftop deck with its swimming pools and other features.
The bus-duct concept entirely replaces traditional cabling, in this case with solid aluminum busbars enclosed in sheet steel delivering superb conductivity with signicantly less heat
than traditional cabling. Moreover, a modular design along with it’s performance advantages, makes bus-duct systems much less costly and labor intensive to install than conduit.
Located near the center of the Washington Avenue Loft District, The Last Hotel oers the St. Louis downtown community an enjoyable destination fully in keeping with the many outstanding attractions nearby including the neighboring City Museum as well as dozens of galleries and restaurants just steps away.
Additionally, in an effort to exceed The City’s Mayoral Diversity Directive of 25% MBE and 5% WBE, the GC and Guarantee Electrical set a lofty goal to achieve 40% and 5% at the corporate level. Despite no requirements for company participation, Guarantee hired many minority and women apprentices for this project maintaining a highly diverse workforce. allow numerous apprentices the chance to grow. In the end, we were able to achieve over 45% total MBE/WBE participation.
160,000 square feet. boutique hotel and features a rooftop bar and pool, movie screening room, teaching kitchen and banquet/wedding facilities
480/277 Volt Power
Updated from 1900’s era 208 volt power.
Rooms range from 450 square feet double queen rooms to 900 square feet suites.
- Listed in top 10 most anticpated hotel openings of 2019 (AFAR Magazine)
- Project named AGC of MO Construction Keystone Award finalist