History

The Rialto Ballroom is located in one of St. Louis’s most ornate gothic buildings–but the building wasn’t always what you see today.

In the late 1880s, our building started out as a dance studio in a neighborhood that later became the hub of St. Louis’s booming entertainment district. Our building got a face lift in 1906 when its then-owner added a new facade, and afterward, it became the home of the Knights of Columbus. The building lived many lives as home to several other community organizations, too.

By 2003, the building was pretty run down and had been empty for almost 20 years, but the Arts and Education Council had a dream. It wanted to start an incubator for artistic endeavors, and it thought this building would be perfect to host that incubator. The Arts and Education Council carefully renovated the building to preserve its history and unique architectural features while making it compatible with 21st-century lives.

The renovation brought this stunning, historic building back to life. Now, it hosts several arts-focused companies, provides rehearsal and collaborative spaces, hosts exhibitions for tenants, and, of course, is the home of the Rialto Ballroom.

We’re immensely proud of this building’s 140-some-odd years of history, and we love sharing this beautiful space with St. Louisans as a community. Come experience the history of this building–its gothic arched windows, the glazed terra cotta facade, the abundant Italian marble that lines its hallways, and the lacy wrought iron. It’s a feast for the eyes like no other.

Working in an old building requires a lot of repairs, from plumbers to roofers to plasterers. Sometimes old computers require repairs, too. Buffalo computer repair is a great place to start.