Time Travel and Rebirth
If you ask people who have attended events at Covo, or who work there every day, they’ll tell you that Covo’s physical space is quite special. Aside from it’s zen garden vibes, the building itself tells a beautiful story of the rise and fall of St. Louis.
The building, located at 401 Pine Street, was originally home to the Mississippi Valley Trust Bank. The central bank, now designated an official city landmark, was built in 1896 to finance transportation and communication networks in the St. Louis region. It was a huge financial backer of the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Later, it merged with Mercantile Bank and Trust after disaster struck; a series of bank robberies (some blame Al Capone) and a reputation for hosting an underground speakeasy in its basement drove the bank to irreversible financial strain.
Once the ‘70s rolled around, the space transformed into the 4th & Pine Nightclub, which played host to bands like The Clocks, Billy Peek, Fool’s Face and Mama’s Pride.
For a brief period of time, after 4th and Pine went away, an outpatient cosmetic surgery clinic took over the space. Then Mark Schupp of Schupp Advertising bought the building in fall 2000, he retained some of the patient rooms and used them as office spaces. Schupp remained in business for 14 years, supporting major brands like MillerCoors, Diageo, Equifax, Dupont, SLUCare and Missouri Baptist University. In 2014, Mark decided it was time to go.
True to its form, Covo’s business members who office out of the space today represent a wide variety of industries. In fact, you’ll find financial institutions, caregiving/wellness services, non-profits, advertisers and event managers among the mix. Everything classic about Covo has been renovated and revitalized.
When we first opened Covo STL’s doors, I commented on the effect history will have on the overall experience of the workspace: “At the start of the 1900s, the people working in this building were on the cutting edge of innovation. Now, St. Louis is again in the middle of an entrepreneurial renaissance. And Covo members who work here are going to be in the thick of it.”
The cycle of rebirth at 401 Pine encourages more collisions, more collaboration and more innovation among its guests and members today.