Friday, October 29, 2010

Modernist Enclave in North St. Louis

Thanks to Toby Weiss and Matt Mourning, I was alerted to a fascinating street in North St. Louis, where the early Twentieth Century architecture switches to Modernist architecture of the mid-century.Perfectly preserved, and still maintained, these houses face other houses across the street built fifty years before.Expect a more detailed and more informative post from B.E.L.T. in the near future.There appears that nothing was ever on this spot, despite being in the heart of the city. Nearby Handy Park was apparently a quarry, and perhaps they used this block for storage.Update: Toby Weiss has posted a much more detailed post on this fascinating block here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Far Corner of North St. Louis

Nestled under the crushing embrace of I-70 to the north, and plotted out over relatively hilly terrain, this corner of North St. Louis doesn't get a lot of visitors.The house above looks like it could be out of the Brady Bunch, if it weren't boarded up. Perhaps what is most interesting about this board-up is that it has identical neighbors, fully inhabited, well-maintained and carrying on. What causes one house to become vacant and the other, identical houses to stay occupied?The architectural diversity of the neighborhood is stunning; one second you're driving down a street that looks like St. Louis Hills, and then you turn the corner, and there's one lone, Second Empire house sitting amongst 1950's ranch homes.Finally, these townhomes are some of the most intriguing that I've found in St. Louis. Certainly, they're not the most attractive, but they're interesting in their severe design. Some are occupied, some are not.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vanished North Side and County Institutions

Famous St. Louis institutions are what make the city unique. Sadly, many of those institutions are fading, one by one. Rinderer's Drugs, long an institution in North City and North County, recently announced its sale to Shop N Save.The Top of the Tower Restaurant, long closed, still retains its sign atop the circular apartment building that it called home. Read more about it here.And finally, while many people might not consider it an institution since it was a national chain, Children's Palace still maintains a place in my heart as the purchasing location of most of my toys in my childhood. Sadly, just the like the one in Manchester, the one on Hall's Ferry is still sitting largely neglected and empty, over twenty years since the original store closed. Perhaps that was part of the problem: having stores no one could get to easily or were slightly off the beaten path.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Water Intakes, Chain of Rocks

I'm not sure if they're still in use, and at one point two dykes coming out from the shores connected them to the shore, but the historic water intake towers at the Chain of Rocks are very cool.The first one is a Palladian, Italianate design, and is much closer to the bridge and easier to see.I love the detailing on the tower, which I imagine is very hard to reach nowadays.Smaller, and harder to see, is the Romanesque Revival tower further downstream.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

The Chain of Rocks Bridge is amazing; arching across the Mississippi River in the far north of St. Louis.Read more about the bridge and its significance here.It is really, really windy out in the middle of the bridge, not surprisingly, perhaps.The juxtaposition of positive and negative space makes for some interesting photographs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Doe Run, Herculaneum

I thought I would come and see the Doe Run Lead Smelter myself, and see what Herculaneum is really "like."
Honestly, other than the gigantic smokestack, belching a white-yellow smoke on the day I was there, there aren't a lot of landmarks.This church is one nice little structure that I saw.Unfortunately, the demolition of nearby houses around the smelter has left much of the town a ghost town.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Warehouse, Near North Riverfront

I was shocked at the level of folial penetration that is inflicting this building.There's literally dozens of plants, and even a tree, growing out of the walls of this old warehouse.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ste Genevieve Church

I took a quick, preliminary tour of Ste. Genevieve last weekend, and saw the town's church in the middle of the downtown. There was a wedding going on, I was dressed shabbily, and I needed to a friend's birthday party so I didn't get to go inside.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

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