Thursday, September 30, 2010

City of St. Louis Lawn Care Company

Tired of mowing your lawn, or cutting down the pesky volunteer trees? Call 1-800-STL-LAWN and the City of St. Louis will be happy to provide all of your lawn care needs!
But seriously, I was shocked to see a large lot at the northwest corner of Parnell and St. Louis Ave had been cleared of all of its amazingly dense underbrush. I asked a nearby barbeque stand proprietor, and she stated that the City of St. Louis had come out and cleared it in the last two weeks. It is owned by Northside Regeneration, of course.The abandoned gas station sits in desolation, still showing the signs of the fatal fire that occurred here over two years ago.I'm not a big fan of demolition, but doesn't this decrepit, non-contributing building seem like a good candidate for removal?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hebert Street, Saint Louis Place

My recent visit to the block of Hebert east of Parnell reveals that there is just about nothing left.What was once an almost intact block, though largely abandoned, is now almost gone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saint Louis Place Brick Rustling Around St. Augustine

You would think that with such an amazing, architecturally significant anchor like the former German Catholic parish church of St. Augustine, the area around the north St. Louis Place neighborhood would be thriving. It is in fact the opposite. While the church is occupied, brick theft is proceeding to destroy any remnant of the thriving neighborhood that once stood around it.The corner turret store, long stripped of what was probably decorative metalwork, is being savaged in the back as well now for its bricks.Other houses in the neighborhood have been hit hard as well; this house looks like it has been harvested for some time now.This house is new to me; it is right on Hebert in front of the empty block across the street from St. Augustine, but it is just about completely destroyed. It is obvious that no one feels the need, or feels like it would matter, to call the police.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Old Funeral Home, Saint Louis Place

I checked in on brick theft in Saint Louis Place this weekend, stopping first at one of my (and many others') favorite houses along St. Louis Ave. It was not pretty; while I'm not sure if it has changed much since the last time I photographed it, I still think it's patently ridiculous that such a beautiful house could suffer this fate.Seriously, I understand some houses that have been hit are tucked away on isolated streets, but this is right on St. Louis Avenue. Really, no one noticed??

See the house here in better days, before it was hit by brick theft.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

City Affair at PechaKucha Tonight

Come out to see me present at PechaKucha at the Schlafly Tap Room in western downtown St. Louis. See the Facebook page for more information.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Sad Statement on Automobile/Pedestrian Relations in America

I want to start by saying that I'm not complaining about Clayton putting this sign up, but rather that they felt the need to have to do it. It should go without saying that pedestrians have the right of way when they have the "walk sign" or at any time at a four-way stop. It's a sad commentary on the reckless disregard drivers and bicyclists have for pedestrians in today's society.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Old-School Buildings, Clayton

Old and New Clayton sit right next to each other, as these various low-rise buildings from the early Twentieth Century demonstrate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

County Police Headquarters, Clayton

One of the last government buildings left from the old era of Clayton, the police headquarters has yet to be replaced by a new, more modern building.It's a restrained building, though not without its merits.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cool Modernist Building, Clayton

While much of the small stores and houses in Clayton's downtown have been demolished, this little gem still stands on its northern edge.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

St. Louis County Government Center, Clayton

The county courthouse is massive, and its repeating pattern design makes it seem even more so. I liked the old one better, but obviously it was too small.The courthouse and nearby jail even have their own Bridge of Sighs, just like in Venice, Italy. I like the one in Venice better.The jail, whether you like it or not, is a great example of 1990's penal architecture. While in the past, jails and prisons were meant to stand out as fortification-like landmarks, nowadays governments attempt to make jails blend in with the landscape, as no one wants to live or work next to a jail.The county jail is a perfect example of the "kinder, gentler" prison.Then there's the county building, built in true Brutalist style, looking more like a fortress than a welcoming government building.The sparse, stripped down exterior is typical of many Clayton office buildings. Across the street is a parking lot.These first floor windows make me wonder if they were expecting an invasion or something. But actually, it was relatively common in the late 1960's and 70's to build government buildings that were "riot proof."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Clayton Skyscrapers

I remarked this weekend that I'm sort of not unhappy that these skyscrapers ended up in Clayton instead of downtown St. Louis. They're unremarkable, and St. Louis needs remarkable buildings.The juxtaposition between new and old in Clayton is fascinating, as it is still relatively new as an office center.I don't think Clayton would have happened without St. Louis withdrawing from the County; otherwise, there would have been no need for a county seat in Clayton.
Here is the Laclede Center, built by the Danforths, it began the exodus of offices from downtown to Clayton. Thanks guys!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Return of the Superblock

Oh great, what is SLU up to now? Closing streets near large blocks of their land is not a good sign. I'm sure a surface parking lot will be coming soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Post-Modernist Condo Building, Clayton

I don't know if I should like this building or not; it's weird at the same time as being sort of cool. The dichotomy between the towering condo building with the Gothic Revival church is startling, and perhaps a symbol of the two Claytons: old and new.

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