Thursday, April 30, 2009

Isolated by Hate

Something tells me Deloitte won't be buying my photo any time soon for promotional literature. I really need to take more profitable photos.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Effort to Save Mann School from Demolition Continues

From Paul Hohmann,

"As most of you are aware, the Special Administrative Board of the
Saint Louis Public Schools are pushing forward a plan to close six
historic elementary schools and replace them with two newly built mega-
schools (one in North St. Louis and one in South St. Louis) for 500+
students. In South St. Louis, the construction of a new school could
come at the cost of demolition of on of the historic Ittner Schools.

Several of us are members of the Alliance to Preserve Mann Elementary
located in Tower Grove South. We have been told that one of the
funding sources that SLPS is considering for implementing their plan
is federal stimulus money. We understand that for schools there are
two categories of stimulus funds: money earmarked for new construction
and money earmarked for renovations and energy efficiency upgrades.

We are organizing an impromptu letter writing party this Thursday
April 30th, and are asking as many people as possible to come
participate. Legislators are fighting over how to spend stimulus
money as I type, so this is why we are trying to act soon. We need to
send them a clear message that we want renovation money, not new
construction money for St. Louis Public Schools. We have been told
that good old fashioned snail mail letters carry more weight with
legislators than emails. We will provide sample letters to use as
templates as well as addresses of everyone to receive letters.

Kara has graciously offered to host this at her house if we have a
small group (byob), or if we get a large crowd, which would be great,
we would go to a bar. I was thinking maybe the Grind, but we are open
to suggestions. Who would like to join us in this cause?"


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good News for Amtrak in Missouri

The Post-Dispatch reports that the new tracks to decrease delays for passenger trains are now under construction.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When the Levee Breaks

I love this sign; first of all, it has directions for RV's and cars, but it's facing away from anywhere someone in a car could see it. Secondly, it has a sign that says that there are riverboats to the left and right. You would have to be a complete idiot not to be able to see that already. Plus, there aren't actually riverboats in both directions any more.But you have to love this view of the Cahokia Power Station through MacArthur and Poplar Street Bridges.Here is the Eads Bridge.And finally, a look at the historic Belgian blocks of the levee, patiently awaiting the return of riverboats to the front door of St. Louis.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interior Courtyard of Syndicate Trust Building

The Syndicate Trust, now completely renovated into condos on the upper floors and apartments on the lower floors, boasts two courtyards that bring light into the interior of the building. Sadly, the Century Building, the Syndicate's conjoined neighbor, could have easily been renovated along with its taller blockmate.But that was not to be, and instead we have an ugly parking garage rudely occupying the site of the Syndicate's old friend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Florentine Details

Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Giorgio Vasari, Room of the Five Hundred, Palazzo Vecchio
Michelangelo, Pieta
Florence Cathedral
Pontormo, Lamentation

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SLU Wasteland

While photographing the Pevely Dairy fire, I parked on the far side of the lawn of the new SLU research facility. Trekking across the lawn, I was shocked at just how large it is. I know, I know, how dare I criticize doctors who are working hard to save people's lives? They can do whatever they feel like, right, and I should just shut up?Hardly; I live in this city and I have a right to not have an entire mile of Grand Blvd between 40 and I-44 turned into an absolutely horrible traffic sewer. What could be a pleasant walk from the neighborhoods to the second downtown of Grand Center is basically so awful that only the truly intrepid or indigent would ever attempt it.SLU should move to St. Charles County if this is the way it wants to build its campus. Disgusting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roman Patina Preview

I saw many wonderful things on my trip to Rome, Naples and Florence, and here is a preview across the centuries:

Below is the so-called Farnese Bull from teh Hellenistic Period. Most likely the sculpture group, the most complete from antiquity, came from the Greek world during the Roman Empire as spoils from the conquest of the Mediterranean Basin.Below is the great Last Communion of St. Jerome by the early 17th Century artist Domenichino. What you are looking at is actually a mosaic copy replacing the original that was moved to the more climate controlled Vatican Painting Gallery. The work is huge, fitting comfortably into one of the massive altars of New St. Peter's Basilica.Below is the Portico of Octavia, the well-preserved entrance structure on the Campus Martius, or Mars Field along the banks of the Tiber. Originally outside the first set of walls of Rome, the area became the center of numerous monuments during the Roman Empire. The Portico shows the later adaptations of Medieval Romans as they built their own structures in the remains of Ancient Rome.The Cornaro Chapel, designed by the great Gianlorenzo Bernini, represents one of the high points of 17th Century Rome. Designed to appear as a great theater stage, the drama of The Ecstasy of St. Theresa unfolds in all of its glory before the viewer. Above the golden lit main composition, illusionistic ceiling painting completes the Gesamtkunstwerk.And finally, below we see the massive ruins of the Thermae of Caracalla, rising majestically from the exercise fields that once surrounded the largest public baths in Ancient Rome. The two gigantic piers at center once possessed two companions that together held up the largest dome from Antiquity. Truly one of the most stunning ruins in Rome, the Thermae influenced countless buildings throughout the world--including St. Louis.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Post at Chicago Patina

Actually, I think Chicago Patina will go on hiatus for a while, but for now, here are photos of Washburne Trade School, now gloriously abandoned.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

First Post at Roman Patina

Well, ok, not yet, but I’m working on it. I took over 2000 photos, so it’s taking a little while to sort through them all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cold Storage, Armour Meatpacking Plant

Imagine hundreds or perhaps thousands of cattle carcasses dangling from the ceilings of the massive refrigerator rooms at Armour.Built of thick concrete and foam insulation, the room was still cold on a sunny day in March.Remarkably large stalactites and stalagmites have begun to form on the ceilings and floors.

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