Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fountain Park

I realized I hadn't been out to take pictures in three weeks, so I headed up to Fountain Park to finally see a unique spot of St. Louis that I had heard about from other people. The fountain is actually smaller than I thought, and the intersection of Euclid and Fountain was largely desolate the day I went by.The houses are nice, with some abandonment, but overall the effect is formed not by one single house but all the houses around the park together.I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to return some portion of the absurdly large blacktop area at both ends back to greenspace.And finally, the unique castle building that anchors one end of the park on the east. Why this can't be restored is beyond me; is there really no market for a sidewalk cafe in this part of the city?See an aerial view of the park here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tangier Island, Virginia

Tangier Island is one of those special places in America that has let time pass it by. Located out in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, it is only accessible by plane or ferryboat. There are no cars, no booze and a plethora of crab cages that supply the economy of the island, along with tourism. The island is famous for its accent, which is supposedly Elizabethan in origin. Everyone just sort of sounded like they were from the South, to be honest. Sometime in your life you must visit Tangier Island, period.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg is a really amazing place to visit; they are working to restore the battlefield to look exactly as it did on back in 1863. They have a long way to go, but much of the unsightly crap that cluttered the battlefield (which is huge) has been swept away by the Park Service. It's interesting; they actually have the ability to go onto private property to remove stuff that is scarring the battlefield--most famously, the huge observation tower that was imploded a few years back.

Gettysburg is near Amish country, which is a lot of fun to visit as well.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Near North Riverfront Plumes

I wonder what's in that cloud of smoke belching from that smokestack?

Friday, December 26, 2008

JeffVanderLou - Yeatman

This is JeffVanderLou: healthy, one hundred year old houses still surviving in the heart of Blairmontland.
And this is JeffVanderLou: a building no more than twenty years old that was so cheaply and awfully built that it is already abandoned.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lindell Blvd, Central West End

I can only imagine that at one time, all of Lindell was lined with huge mansions. But I'm not complaining that many of them are gone; in many instances they were replaced with beautiful turn of the century apartment buildings or Mid-Century Modern office buildings which add to the character of the street.You definitely have to break an egg to make an omelette, but you don't have to break an egg for a surface parking lot.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Frenchtown, LaSalle Park, Whatever It's Called

I don't think I can find a more butchered area of South St. Louis than the area around Purina along 12th Street (Tucker Blvd). Once known as Frenchtown, the area is a strange mix of beautiful homes, public housing that will have to be torn down (again) in twenty years, and interstates, lots and lots of interstates.But I'm being negative; what is left is certainly enough for an inspired in-fill project to create what St. Louis lacks so badly--a normal neighborhood within walking distance of Downtown. Chicago, Washington, New York, Philadelphia and even Baltimore all have strong, middle class neighborhoods a five minute walk from their downtowns.Why can't St. Louis? It will take real leadership, the rethinking of interstates and their roles in the central city, and more importantly, a break away from suburban style trash that is popping up all over the city.

A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.