The St. Joseph Livestock Exchange Building is a significant as one of the last remaining buildings of what was once a 440 acre complex of stockyards and packing houses in St. Joseph. Construction of this monumental, four story building of pressed red brick and stone began in 1898. Designed by the regionally-renowned architect Edmond J. Eckel, the building boasts a Classical Revival exterior with an imposing arched and colonnaded entrance and a central domed tower. The tower provided ample natural light to the building’s 105 rooms.
The decline of the Livestock Exchange Building mirrored the decline of the surrounding industry. Deferred maintenance has been a systemic problem as tenants continue to vacate the building. Today, only the first and second floors are occupied. Numerous windows are broken. Sections of the building’s cornice fell during a window storm in the spring of 1999; other sections are held in place by metal straps. There are holes in the roof of the tower. Masonry repointing in certain areas is needed. The interior has suffered from some insensitive remodeling which has diminished the presence of overlooked historic features. Preservation of the Livestock Exchange Building is necessary to preserve the last vestiges of St. Joseph’s livestock history.