Downtown St. Louis has far too many parking garages that deaden the streetscape and ugly-up our beautiful built environment. In the spirit of optimism, these garages are definitely good for one thing – providing public access to breathtaking views otherwise reserved for the occupants of corner offices. Below are some of my favorite Downtown St. Louis parking garage rooftop photographs.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
I first wrote about Cementland in early 2010. Now, just over three years after the tragic death of Bob Cassilly, the site is slowly becoming another St. Louis landmark forgotten by all but Graffiti Artists and Urban Explorers. The following are photos of this incredible place in its current state. I still maintain hope that an individual or group will attempt to fulfill Cassilly’s grand vision, but it’s a long shot.
We need to save this place.
I weathered out the entirety of this past week’s winter storms in the comfort of my neighborhood, Forest Park Southeast (also known as The Grove). Getting behind the wheel from Sunday to Tuesday was about as appealing as a visit to Chesterfield. Hopefully this will be the worst of the season. The photos below demonstrate just how small of an area I found myself willing to brave during these (relatively) extreme conditions:
I switched to black & white after my first brief outing:
The next day road conditions had improved immensely on the neighborhood’s major trafficways, but driving remained unattractive.
A new neighborhood market is in the works (presumably the same City Greens Market run by St. Cronan’s Parish about a block away), to replace No Coast skateboard shop (recently moved to 4427 Morganford):
Stay warm and be safe!
While strolling around Layfayette Square a few weeks ago, I noticed for the first time that several homes around the square have stone blocks out near the curb in front of them.
A carriage step is a block of stone placed near the edge of the street usually in line with the front doorway of a home, it served as a stepping stone to help passengers as they climbed in and out of carriages. Popular back in the horse and buggy days of the 19th century carriage steps could be seen in towns and cities all over the United States. They are rarely seen in the present day as most carriage steps have been destroyed because they became obsolete when cars took over as primary transportation. – Carriage Steps in the United States
Just in case you didn’t click the link, that quote is the description of a youtube video. I must not be using the right search terms.
Despite an apparent lack of interest on the internet, I personally find these relics of our horse-drawn past fascinating. In the photo above, a carriage stone advertises the mansion’s owner. Dr. Luytie’s company is still in operation today as 1-800-HOMEOPATHY.
These reminders of a seemingly distant past can be found in many part of the city. Below is a concrete carriage block and hitching post near the intersection of Utah and Texas in Benton Park West.
See more photos of carriage blocks and hitching posts that I’ve noticed around St. Louis here.
Ubiquitous in almost every neighborhood in the City of St. Louis (and most inner-ring suburbs as well), cast iron storefronts offer a glimpse into St. Louis’ once booming architectural iron industry. Ranging from purely functional to elaborately ornamented, and from lovingly cared for to all but forgotten, these architectural elements reflect the diversity and character of St. Louis and its neighborhoods.
In the peak of their production, from the 1890s to the 1910s, St. Louis exported cast iron storefronts all around the region and out to the boom towns of the west. Most well known and prolific were the Mesker Brothers (a company that doesn’t have a single storefront in town that I know of) and George L. Mesker & Co (brother to the Mesker Brothers) based out of Evansville, Indiana. Because there is a wealth of information about these companies already available on the web (start here), and because there are so few of them that have been identified in the City of St. Louis, this acknowledgement is as far as I’m going to take the topic of the Mesker Brothers.
Luckily, although the Mesker Brothers’ signature was not left very apparently (at least to me) on their work in the City of St. Louis, their local competition made sure that their names would be remembered. Below is a photographic inventory of all of the local Iron Works, Foundries and Manufacturing companies that produced cast iron storefronts in St. Louis, for St. Louis (as far as I know – I’m sure there are more out there and I’d love to hear about them). So here it is, Cast Iron Storefronts, B through V.
Banner Iron Works
Chester Iron & Foundry Co. (On right)
Christopher and Simpson (J. Christopher & Co)
Gerst Bros Mfg. Co.
Globe Iron and Foundry Company
Kilpatrick & Gray
Koken Iron Works (Scherpe & Koken, Scherpe, Koken & Graydon)
Meyerpeter & LeLaurin
Pullis Bro’s (T.R. Pullis & Sons, T.R. Pullis & Bro, Pullis Brothers)
South St. Louis Foundry (S. STL. F)
St. Louis Architectural Iron Co.
The Union Iron and Foundry Co.
Victor Iron Works
For more photographs of cast iron storefronts around St. Louis and elsewhere, visit my Flickr photo set Cast Iron Storefronts.
Today I visited the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Zama. I have always been interested in Archaeology and the Mayas have been my favorite civilization for a long time, so this trip is one I have looked forward to seemingly forever. It is a beautiful city surrounded by stone walls on three sides, and the Caribbean Sea on the fourth.
Urban Planning in Tulum was very apparent and apparently it was common for Urban Planning to be a high priority for the Mayas. One of the signs on the site specifically cited Tulum as one of the earliest known street grids in the Americas.
I can almost imagine a vibrant city here, but at the same time, it’s hard to believe. You can see my photos from the day here.