Category Archives: Metro East

Stately Homes, East St. Louis

By no means is the entire city of East St. Louis a wasteland, and in fact many streets still retain their original houses.

They could easily be in Tower Grove South or any number of neighborhoods in St. Louis.

Rather interestingly, these two houses with their distinctive turrets are the same design, but one has brick and the other tan stone.

While many houses were originally built of wood in the city, these houses are brick or stone, and are still surviving the ravages of time.

Also, I will be presenting about the exciting future of St. Louis Patina at 7:00 PM at the Contemporary Art Museum on July 12th, in conjunction with PechaKucha St. Louis. I hope to see you there.

Ainad Temple, East St. Louis

Long known as one of the last surviving institutions from the “old” East St. Louis, the Ainad Temple is a fascinating mix of brick and Moorish Revival decorative elements.

Inspired by buildings such as the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, it reflects an architectural frame of mind that was willing to borrow from any style that suited architects and their clients.

There was talk of moving two years ago, but I hope that they’ve changed their minds and chosen to stay.

Also, I will be presenting about the exciting future of St. Louis Patina at 7:00 PM at the Contemporary Art Museum on July 12th, in conjunction with PechaKucha St. Louis. I hope to see you there.

Some More Downtown East St. Louis

I’m always amazed by some of the beautiful storefronts on Collinsville Avenue, many featuring terracotta decorative elements that are still in good condition after decades of neglect.

Sadly, the back sides of many of the most elegant buildings in downtown are beginning to fail, and are slowing falling down into piles of concrete and rebar.

Grass lots are replacing what were once businesses, leaving the long sides of building exposed to view.

This house looks like it caught on fire at some point; despite the vinyl siding, I suspect this house is much older.

Also, I will be presenting about the exciting future of St. Louis Patina at 7:00 PM at the Contemporary Art Museum on July 12th, in conjunction with PechaKucha St. Louis. I hope to see you there.

Spivey Building, Revisited

I had the opportunity to photograph the long-suffering Spivey Building, supposedly the tallest building in southern Illinois. You can see previous pictures of the exterior and interior.

I was concerned that there was some new damage to the pediment of the building, but I looked back at old pictures and realized that it has been like that for a while.

The city wants to tear it down, but it has no money to do it. In many ways, it’s sort of an awkward building; individual floors don’t have much square footage, and there’s plenty of room to build new buildings in downtown East St. Louis.