Update: When I went back in August of 2018, the buildings had not changed.
Crunden-Martin Manufacturing was one of those industries East Coast types like to cite when talking about the so-called “Rust Belt.” Famous for its wood products, the company operated in the shadow of downtown, then the MacArthur Bridge, then the interstates and the Arch. Imagine, working in this massive complex, with the humming of machines. One of the interesting aspects of this complex was its apparent lack of parking.
Surely there was a parking lot added at some point, but imagine for decades street cars depositing workers in waves in the morning, and picking them up again the afternoon. Perhaps even some workers walked over from the Soulard neighborhood. It’s a shame to see these giant buildings, with their broad, open floor plans, sit empty. They await a vision, capital and the wherewithal to come back to life. Hopefully it will come in time. One building was struck by fire, or arson, depending on whom you ask. It is rumored to be next on the demolition list.
I love the street bridges; they still exist in downtown and in several other places, but they point to a level of density that no longer exists in manufacturing. A seven story factory building is rare today.