Armour Meat Packing Plant, June 23, 2012
A couple of years ago, the new Mississippi River Bridge website published the following satellite image of the path of the Illinois approaches to the new bridge. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that only a portion of the historic stockyards around the old mule pens were in the way of the new road. My favorite ruin in the St. Louis area, Armour Meat Packing, sat uncomfortably close, but nonetheless safe for the time being.
You can understand my chagrin when I recently visited the site and found this new satellite image had been uploaded. If you look closely, you can see that new access road planned to be perpendicular to the new I-70 ends right in front of the main buildings of Armour. I would assume they plan on extending that road further, which of course would go right through the plant. Perhaps it’s time for you to see it before it’s gone.
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.
The Pevely Dairy complex is being torn down, though you might not necessarily see it from Grand.
In fact, the street facade is still perfectly preserved until SLU gets the necessary demolition permit, so perhaps there is still a chance they’ll see the light.
The office building isn’t the perfect urban building, but replacing the glass block windows with better windows would go a long way to making it look much better.
In the meantime, go enjoy the uniqueness of this structure, from the white bricks forming the Pevely name on the smokestack…
…to the little patches of green terracotta high up on the parapet of the office building.
When the new Grand Bridge opens this year, commuters will not have to worry about any pesky buildings blocking sight lines at the corner, and can confidently fly around the corners with little worry of anything coming–certainly not pedestrians, other than the few unlucky souls who transfer buses at this most forlorn corner.
I’ve watched the slow death of the Hunter Meat Packing Plant for close to four years now, and it’s finally coming down into a pile of rubble, replaced at least for the time-being with a tanker truck lot.
I never like Hunter as much as Armour, but it still had its charms, from the paper-like slabs of concrete hanging by its rebar, to the smokestack itself.
Presumably, it is finally being torn down to make way for new industrial space or warehouses in anticipation of the new Mississippi River Bridge.
The view of the city from the stockyards is truly spectacular.
I continued down the hill and entered a neighborhood off of St. Clair Avenue. I can imagine a century ago, men would walk these sidewalks from nearby houses, and work in the factory.
I have no idea what the factory was, or when it closed, but the relatively new looking office wing (not pictured) suggests it only closed a decade or so ago.
Driving around the old National Stockyards, it’s shocking to see how much has changed. There are new roads crisscrossing the area, while other roads are now closed. The new Mississippi River Bridge’s connector is passing right through the area, forever changing the topography, and probably land prices.
Near Armour, brush had been cleared recently, which is a surprise since no one has maintained anything at the site in years. Will it be meeting the wrecking ball soon, as its owner seeks to sell the property in anticipation for the new bridge?