What was once probably a machine room for the Barry-Wehmiller Machinery Co. sits open to the elements, hosting everything from the remnants of the resale business to the remainder of a game of bowling.
Situated on a quiet backstreet near West Florissant Avenue, the Barry-Wehmiller Machinery Co. sits in a state of increasing ruin.
Later taken over in the 1990’s by a wholesale industrial product resale concern, it now sits abandoned, and filled with “stuff.”
See an article here about the interior of the factory.
Owned by the City’s Land Reutilization Authority, it most likely is polluted and hazardous for use. One can only imagine in 1912, when the factory opened, the sounds of boots on the streets as workers walked down the street from their homes in Walnut Park.
I had the opportunity to get a ride up to the infamous Horseshoe, a section of one way street that loops around a desolate corner of Wells-Goodfellow.
I asked one of my students, a St. Louis police officer, about the area, and he informed me that he actually grew up on the Horseshoe, and its terrible, violent reputation was well deserved.
Sadly, what a developer had thought would be a perfect neighborhood where children could play in the streets without fear of vehicular traffic became a recipe for another kind of traffic. Since the street was one way, the police had to enter at the top of the Horseshoe, providing plenty of time for drug dealers on the lower half of the loop to be warned of their approach by their confederates.
The official explanation for the Horseshoe’s demolition was that it was in a flood plain and the land was needed for MSD’s use as a retention pond.
Maybe so, but I can’t help but think it worked out well that Wells-Goodfellow was finally rid of this street.
It’s so sad to see what was clearly a beautiful quiet oasis in the city to come to this. Every house is gone now.
Watch a sensationalized show about the area.
I had already seen the new exterior, but I wanted the opportunity to see the new parking garage built in the floors of the old mall. I must say, it is the most open, light-filled parking garage I have ever parked my car in, but when I tried to exit by a staircase, I was greeted by signs saying that the exit was for emergencies only. I had to go back up the stairs, checked to verify that there was in fact no sign saying that I couldn’t use that staircase, and eventually just took an elevator down to 7th Street. What a bizarre place.
I stopped by the Crestwood Sears last Thursday, looking for some good going-out-of-business-sale deals. I found the store just about completely stripped of all of its merchandise. I spent a lot of time at Crestwood Mall in the early 1990’s, and it honestly pains me to see it close for good. Examining the Sears merchandise, I saw no problems in quality, nor in price. It just seems like shopping habits of St. Louis had passed Crestwood Mall by. I found myself coming to the Sears closing sale several times over the last two months; while I never shopped at the store when I had hung out at the mall, I felt a sense of sad duty to come and visit my old friend on its deathbed. I knew I could do nothing to save it, but I felt like I had to come by to say goodbye. The most depressing aspect was watching the employees drag themselves through their shifts, knowing that they would soon be out of a job, and perhaps for a long time. It’s just sad to see this.