Monday, February 28, 2011

Valley Center, Kansas

Valley Center, Kansas is an interesting town north of Wichita, and seems to have been built largely around the 1910's or 20's, as there is an abundance of Arts and Crafts bungalows throughout the center of town. I really like this house, which actually has a port cochere, a rarity on this style of house.This cement block building on Main Street anchors this corner of the downtown, across from a massive grain elevator.I really like this stream-lined, Art Deco brick building which also faces Main Street.This cemetery, to the east of town, sits in the shadow of a water tower and interstate.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Save 750 North Taylor!

I know the house is expensive, but really, should we destroy what is otherwise a perfectly intact street wall that stretches for approximately a miles in the historic core of Kirkwood?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bottling Plant, Anheuser Busch Brewery

According to Sanborn maps, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery originally had several bottling plants before the construction of the iconic bottling plant built in the early Twentieth Century along Broadway.By the time of construction, Bevo had become a prominent symbol of the brewery, and his likeness appears on several corners of the building.The front of the building doesn't look industrial, but like the entrance to a grand bank building.The interior is immaculate, and covered in elaborate terracotta tiles that continue the Bevo theme on in the lobby.Can you imagine this level of detail and decoration in a modern factory?Bevo reappears with his drumstick and tankard of beer on the top of the wall.The actual bottling floor is similarly immaculate, with new machinery of course.The tour takes you past a series of images that show earlier incarnations of the bottling process at the brewery.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old Anheuser Busch Stables

The Busch family originally lived right in the heart of the brewery; their mansion, One Busch Place, was torn down years ago, but the stables survive, and are on the National Register of Historic Places.While still functioning, the stables are a work of art, complete with stained glass windows and elaborate decoration.I originally thought the stables were for delivery horses, but that is not the case.Surrounded by massive buildings that are part of the brewery complex, the stables represents a time that has long since passed in the center of the city.The stalls are elaborate and befit the Busch family's attempt to portray themselves as the most important beer barons of the city.The stained glass reminds me of the windows at Shaw's Garden.In the Sanborn map below, you can see the Busch mansion sitting to the left and slightly below the stables.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Chouteau's Landing

I love Chouteau's Landing, largely because it is still so gritty and undisturbed by rehabilitation.Unlike Laclede's Landing, the area is largely not scarred by huge parking lots that make its northern neighbor largely gone.I can imagine this street lined with sidewalks cafes, or maybe just a shady place to walk in the evening during the summer.This long building seen below in the two pictures, would make a great supermarket; in Baltimore, I used to shop at a store built in an old textile mill.The ice was managing to hide among the tall buildings standing in this area.I have no idea what this large cement box is, but I assume windows could be cut in it, providing for more apartments or exhibition space.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MacArthur Bridge Approaches, Chouteau's Landing

I still can't believe the amazing, sublime structure the MacArthur Bridge. Just drive under it sometime and feel how it looms over you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kinloch, Part 5

Kinloch, despite its reputation, has much still going for it.An urban farm is cultivated by the city during the summer on vacant land.A hall of fame for Kinloch residents was just completed last summer as well.And many streets, not devastated by buy-outs for the airport, still maintain their clean and well-maintained appearance.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Keep Up the Bad Work!

As the Preservation Research Office reported recently, an out-of-city absentee landlord is busily letting a neighborhood anchor deteriorate, with little or no effort at trying to repair the building. And why should he care? There are no legal consequences to not caring in this city. As you can see from my recent photo, the building continues to collapse.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Marine Villa, South of Broadway

Marine Villa technically goes all the way to Cherokee, but the bulk of it sits right up against I-55 southeast of Broadway. The housing stock is interesting, and similar to nearby Benton Park. There is some in-fill, as these 1950's apartments attest.Up ahead you can see a house that was featured on Bad Mansard, sitting at the top of a ridge line.Nce, solid rowhouses sit along the streets, giving a rhythm to the streetscape.The house above appears to be a bit older than the rest of the houses, and may have been one of the earlier houses in the neighborhood. Below, this stately mansion sits close to Broadway.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

French Market

Tucked away, right in the middle of the jumble of streets that head into Downtown, is a one block stretch of street, an alley really, named French Market Court.French Market? Only five or six blocks north of the more famous Soulard Market, the South Market, known as the French Market presumably because of its location in the Frenchtown neighborhood, was one of two markets built by the City of St. Louis in 1839 to expand market space from the original market on Market Street.The North Market, known as the Mound Market, was located up on the northside of what is now Downtown.But does anything survive that could have originally been part of the French Market? The buildings now lining the street seem to warehouses, not market buildings.I suspect, as Soulard Market took off, the French Market slowly died off, and as the area became more industrial the market buildings at Broadway and LaSalle Streets was torn down. Looking at the Sanborn maps, which are approximately one hundred years old depending on the edition and revisions, reveal large amounts of vacant land along the Court, suggesting that the buildings had only recently been torn down in the last decade before the map was published. I find it hard to believe that there would be so much vacant land otherwise in such a densely settled sector of the city. Seemingly, only the street survives as a remnant of one of the first market spaces in the rapidly expanding St. Louis.There is enormous potential in these buildings, as considering that most of the urban fabric has been annihilated for Rally's and White Castle parking lots, the relative intact stretch of warehouses and light industrial buildings would be perfect for rehabilitation.If you have any historic photos or paintings of the French Market, please let me know! There's next to no information out there about the market, and it is a fascinating relic of the past that deserves more attention.

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