Joe Edwards is the Landmarks Association of Saint Louis 2013 winner of the H. Meade Summers Jr. Award for lifetime achievement in historic preservation.
Edwards received the award for his work preserving and rehabilitating The Delmar Loop. The award was presented Sept. 12.
Since the early 1970s, Edwards has been renovating historic buildings and encouraging the revitalization of St. Louis by creating destination attractions and cultivating vibrant cultural environments. His work has helped transform the Delmar Loop into a vibrant restaurant, shopping, arts and entertainment district.
When Edwards opened Blueberry Hill Restaurant & Music Club in 1972, the neighborhood had been in decline for decades. After renovating the building and opening for business, the restaurant not only proved attractive to patrons, but the activity it generated began to have a stabilizing effect on the surrounding blocks.
In 1988, Edwards founded the non-for-profit St. Louis Walk of Fame as a way of attracting visitors and as a way of celebrating St. Louis’
cultural and historical icons. In
the 1990s, he rehabilitated and restored the
In 2000, The Pageant nightclub opened. Less than 10 years after opening, the club began to appear in national and even international rankings of concert venues including being ranked number 4 on Pollstar’s list of top clubs worldwide in the category of ticket sales.
In all, Edwards has constructed three new buildings in the historic Delmar Loop business district and completed 12 historic renovations. He has plans to renovate five additional buildings and has been a driving force in the creation of St. Louis first streetcar line in over 50 years.