Demolition of Noah's Ark.

Bon Voyage to Noah's Ark

David Flavan built an Ark in 1967. He first considered building a steamship, but settled on a biblical boat instead. It was probably the right choice, as his Noah's Ark Family Restaurant became a popular eatery in St Charles, Missouri, and a favorite landmark along I-70, with its deck crowded with animals and a larger-than-life Noah.

The restaurant closed in 2000 and fell into ruin. Its barn-red planking weathered to driftwood white. Noah disappeared. The only passengers that survived time and vandals were a couple of giraffes and a flag-waving elephant.

Just before the demolition.

Noah's Ark was bought by a Chicago developer, and the land on which it stood was rezoned for an upscale mixed-use development, "The Landing at Noah's Ark." Despite the name, the Ark was never intended to be a part of it.

A "Bringing Down the Ark" demolition party was held on August 29, 2007. We spoke with Lisa Drier, president and CEO of ShowMe Aquatics and Fitness, which will occupy the former Ark spot. "It was awesome," she said of the event. A thousand people showed up, which was about four times the number that Lisa had expected. "People were parking on the shoulder of the interstate."

The highlight of the party was when Heather Ordner, 27, won the raffle (at ten bucks per chance) to use a big claw on the end of a trackhoe to knock a hole in the Ark. "She took a big bite out of it," Lisa said, and described how the impact caused one side of the hull to collapse. "It kinda fell off," she said. Crews will tear down the rest of the Ark next week.

The giraffes and the elephant, however, survived. Lisa said that they have been stored in a safe place, and promised that they would be made a part of her indoor water fitness center when it opens in 2010.

[09/02/2007]
Hours:
Demolished in 2007.
Status:
Gone

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