More than century after it was built, and after a decade of vacancy, the structure now known as The Laurel/Embassy Suites Downtown opened its doors in St. Louis. The structure was originally built in 1906 to accommodate one of the “Gateway City’s” first department stores, known then as The Grand Leader. Later it would become Stix, Baer & Fuller, an anchor of the city’s retail scene for decades. Stix, Baer & Fuller would eventually become Dillards and early in the 21st century, they moved their headquarters westward into the suburbs leaving the 11-story building empty.
After a decade of vacancy, developers purchased the property with an aim to redevelop it. Embassy Suites by Hilton was the first tenant to jump on board and others quickly followed. As refurbishment began, windows quickly became a leading subject. requirements were many as all parties involved had their own necessities included into the architectural specifications.
- – Developers were looking for a product that would help them achieve prestigious LEED accreditation. They were also in need of a product that met National Park Service standards in order to receive Historical Replication tax credits.
- – Architects meanwhile were looking for a heavy-commercial rated window, preferably HC-40, that could incorporate thicker glass for limited sound attenuation.
- – Finally, executives from Hilton Hotels had prerequisites for their franchise that had to be supported.
Quaker HC-40 rated H300 Series Single Hung window was the answer on all fronts. With “green” entities built into every facet of every window (recycled aluminum and glass, low VOC paint, high-performance Low-E glass), LEED points were easily attained. The project would ultimately be given Silver-LEED certification under the category of New Construction or Major Renovation. With Quaker’s reputation as historical experts, developers had several products meeting historical requirements from which to choose. A long-standing relationship with Hilton Hotels was already there, so Quaker knew all requirements before ever seeing the Embassy Suites specs. By the time the project was completed in 2013, more than 500 window units had been installed for the 212-room hotel and 205-unit Laurel Apartments.