Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Pedestrian Walkways of Princeton Heights

December 3, 2017

Last week I posted about a pair of Pedestrian walkways in the Northampton neighborhood, and am following up today with some photos of a similar duo in Princeton Heights.


Like those in Northampton, the Princeton Heights cut-thrus are in quiet residential areas.  Walking down them shows you homes, backyards, alleys and garages: a cross-section of the neighborhood.

38813836091_27529f464c_c Local residents relaxing in their backyards or working in garages stopped us for brief but friendly conversations.  There is a real sense of community in this area, and the walkways are a really safe and pleasant piece of the public realm.


The photos above show the Quincy Walk.  A couple of blocks east is a shorter walkway, the Bonita Walk.


Finally, here is a map of the two walkways pictured and described above:

Princeton Heights Walkways.jpg

For more images of these walkways and Princeton Heights , check out my flickr album for the neighborhood.


Top of the Parking Garage

March 16, 2015

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.

Terra Cotta Detail

Olive from Garage Mahal

Met Square

Union Trust Lions (and Pidgeon)


17th and Washington

Union Station

Railway Exchange

Locust Street

Looking Southwest


Car Park Village

Wainwright, etc.

Looking East

9th and Olive

PET Building

Old Post Office Roof

SLU Law and Courthouses


Pine Street View of the Soldier’s Memorial and Plaza Square


Cementland in 2015

January 21, 2015

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.

Cementland in 2015

Northwest Corner

Train Tracks



Bench and Sculpture(s)


Edge of a Bridge

Near the Entrance



We need to save this place.


Snowpocalypse 2014 – Forest Park Southeast

January 11, 2014

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:

Ped Xing

Domino’s Delivers in any Weather

Walking in the Snow


I switched to black & white after my first brief outing:

Snow Storm in The Grove

Mural in The Grove

The Mangrove

Gotta Walk in the Street

Arco Avenue

Snowed In

Buried Car

Out to Shovel

Spherical Bollards

Dog in the Snow

Getting into the Car

Snowy Alley

Frosted Over Light Switch

Snow Plow on Newstead

The next day road conditions had improved immensely on the neighborhood’s major trafficways, but driving remained unattractive.

Cab and Pedestrians on Manchester

Abandoned Storefront

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):

Coming Soon: City Greens Market

Snow on the Shoulder

Stay warm and be safe!


Carriage Blocks and Hitching Posts

November 7, 2012

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.

Dr. Luytie’s Home on Lafayette Square

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.

Carriage Stone on St. Louis Avenue in North St. Louis

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.

Dr. A. S. in BPW

See more photos of carriage blocks and hitching posts that I’ve noticed around St. Louis here.


Cast Iron Storefronts

August 30, 2012

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.

Union Iron & Foundry Co. Cast Iron Storefront on S. 4th Street Downtown

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.

Mesker Brothers Side by Side in Wickliffe, KY

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

Banner Iron Works

Chester Iron & Foundry Co. (On right)

Chester Iron & Fdy Co.

Christopher and Simpson (J. Christopher & Co)

Christopher & Simpson

Gerst Bros Mfg. Co.

Gerst Bros

Globe Iron and Foundry Company

Globe Iron & Foundry Company

Kilpatrick & Gray

Kilpatrick & Gray

Koken Iron Works (Scherpe & Koken, Scherpe, Koken & Graydon)

Scherpe & Koken

Meyerpeter & LeLaurin

Meyerpeter & LeLaurin – South St. Louis, MO

Pullis Bro’s (T.R. Pullis & Sons, T.R. Pullis & Bro, Pullis Brothers)

Pullis Bro’s

South St. Louis Foundry (S. STL. F)

South St. Louis Foundry

Standard Foundry

Standary Foundry Co

St. Louis Architectural Iron Co.

St. Louis Architectural Iron Co – One of the more distinctive nameplates

The Union Iron and Foundry Co.

Union Iron and Foundry Co

Victor Iron Works

Victor Iron Works

For more photographs of cast iron storefronts around St. Louis and elsewhere, visit my Flickr photo set Cast Iron Storefronts.



December 29, 2009
Today I visited the ruins of a very interesting Mayan City, Coba.  It was once a huge metropolis, home to at least 50,000 people at its peak.  The area is mostly jungle with only a handful of buildings excavated and restored (less than 100 out of over 6,000 according to Orlando, our tour guide).  Judging by those buildings that I was able to see restored or still standing, the city must have been magnificent while it was still inhabited.


For me the most interesting thing to see were the Ball Courts.  Wikipedia has a very nice article on the Mesoamerican ball games which covers most of the speculation I heard at Coba.

Ball court at Coba

Also of particular interest is the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula, which I was lucky enough to be able to climb to the top of.


Unfortunately not too much concrete knowledge of the Mayan civilization exists due to the fact that Catholics destroyed nearly all of the Maya’s historical records during the 16th century.  I now have a significantly invigorated respect for Archaeologists and thank the majority who follow their profession’s strict code of ethics, providing curious individuals such as myself the best possible picture of great civilizations from our past.
My Photos from the day are available here.


December 25, 2009

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.

House of Columns

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.

Sign at Tulum

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.



December 23, 2009

Hola!  Esta semana yo soy en la pais de Mexico, en la Playa Del Carmen.  Es una destinacion muy bonita y las personas son muy amible.  I may post about St. Louis or Mexico this week but who knows.  Regardless, please enjoy the holidays!

Playa Del Carmen Ruins


Exploring St. Louis

December 18, 2009

Because I read so many blogs about St. Louis every day and love scouring the internet for interesting facts about the history of my city, I decided that I might as well start my own blog.  I’m also getting tired of people yawning when I start talking about something that I love about St. Louis.