Surely the former Columbia Brewery, later renamed Falstaff Brewery Plant Five, must have always dominated the St. Louis Place neighborhood.
With the incredible amount of demolition in the area, it now rises out of what almost looks like a meadow, taller than the remaining houses by over a hundred feet.
The Romanesque Revival brewery sits right on the property line at the sidewalk, with elegant renovated houses across the street framing the complex.
And of course, there’s the massive smokestack with the Falstaff logo nailed to the giant stack, which may be one of the largest brewery smokestacks in the city.
It’s a massive fortress like structure, and I wonder if the beer barons, many of whom were born in Germany, were actively attempting to evoke the architecture of the powerful in their homeland.
The brewery is just as impressive as I remember when I saw the building for the first time up close several years ago.
I love the use of terracotta accents that are combined with cut limestone and red brick. These are not simple utilitarian structures, but statements of the power of the beer industry in St. Louis history.
Please visit this great Falstaff Beer site, where I learned most of my information about the old brewing company. Also, I want to thank Andrew Weil, director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, for additional information.