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Clemens Mansion: A Beautiful Neo-Baroque Classical Chapel

Update: Completely destroyed by suspected arson in the early morning hours of July 12, 2017. The City of St. Louis cut ties with Paul McKee’s Northside in June of 2018.

At the Clemens Mansion in St. Louis Place, I had the opportunity recently to view a truly unique chapel in a style that is not very common in St. Louis, a city of Romanesque and Gothic Revival churches. Combining elements of classical architecture with elements of 17th Century design, the chapel is stunning.

Even in its ruined state, the quality of the stucco work is superbly preserved, despite the increasing threat of water damage.

What is really disgusting is the looting of the beautiful marble altarpieces, shown above in a severely pillaged state. Of course, the looting didn’t result in some new, beautiful work of art as the spolia of the Roman Empire often became, but rather the marble components lie shattered on the floor of the chapel, too heavy (obviously) to remove easily.

The roof collapsed last May, and now the clock has begun to tick even faster.

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