Category Archives: St. Louis County

Sears, Northwest Plaza

I have a sentimental soft spot for the Northwest Plaza Sears, as its architecture is very similar to the mall I went to as a child in Saginaw, Michigan, Fashion Square Mall.

I also realized that in some ways the architecture reminds me of Jabba the Hutt’s palace from third Star Wars movie.

Perhaps a serious problem for Northwest Plaza was that while the interior received a face-lift, the outside did not.

Yes, that is a hawk sitting on the roof of the canopy in front of the store.

Lava rock abounds in this building, and it adds a nice touch to the decoration.

Stacy Park/Reservoir

Few people passing by on Olive Street Road in Creve Coeur realize they’re passing a 100 million gallon reservoir for the City of St. Louis.

Built in conjunction with the Howard Bend Treatment Plant in the early 20th Century, the reservoir received water pumped uphill from the plant, and then gravity took the water downhill to the city.

There are a couple of interesting buildings around the site, and interestingly, I did not see a single sign stating the purpose of the structure. If you look at Google maps, you can see there is a right-of-way going east from the reservoir that is probably the path of the water pipe.

Howard Bend Water Plant

Most people don’t know it, but much of the water for the City of St. Louis (and some sold to St. Louis and St. Charles counties) comes in via the Howard Bend Water Treatment Plant on the Missouri River, fifteen miles from the city limits.

It is a massive, complex, with its towering smokestack, and it possesses a incongruous presence among the lowlands and farm fields around it.

Rock Hill Presbyterian, Totally Gone

I drove over to Rock Hill Presbyterian last Thursday, expecting to see some jagged walls sticking out of the ground, slightly more dismantled than I had seen it the Saturday before. Instead, I saw nothing. The church was completely gone, and I gasped when it dawned on me what had happened. According to the Post-Dispatch, they took it down “carefully” in three hours, numbering stones as they went. I seriously doubt that. What a joke.

Fairfax House, bizarrely floating on steel stilts, had been moved to its corner of purgatory on the north end of the site, ridiculously close to the road and completely devoid of context. I feel bad for all of the people who have worked so hard restoring it to its past appearance.

Anyways, it’s been long established that the leadership of Rock Hill are a bunch of revenue addicts, willing to do anything–even sell their grandmother’s wedding ring, or historic church–for their next fix. I predict here now that at least one, possibly two, of the currently operating gas stations in Rock Hill will go out of business in the six months after the UGas opens. It will be interesting, and depressing, to see if the fiefdom even comes out of this with more tax revenue than before they sold their community’s soul.

But what’s truly pathetic is the decision of the Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery to sell such an historic church to UGas, fully aware that it would mean its demise. Sure, it was the smart business decision, but certainly not the smart moral decision. While I’m sure the Presbytery had full legal title to the church, I would argue that they did not hold the spiritual title to it. It belongs to the slaves, immigrants and the generations of members who first built and then attended services for almost 170 years. Was their hard work and devotion so meaningless?