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Holy Corners Revisited, West Side of Kingshighway

Holy Corners, Kingshighway and Washington Blvd. St. Louis Lantern Slides, St. Louis Public Library, D04563.

I looked at Holy Corners way back in January of 2009, and I figured it was long overdue for an update.

First up is the beautiful Tuscan Temple, which is an example of the Doric Order of classical architecture. But I have to chuckle, as it is Roman in form, as it only has columns in the front, and not completely surrounding the cella of the temple, as would be the case in a Greek temple.

It was designed by Albert B. Groves and opened in 1908. The Second Temple of Hera at Paestum is a good example for comparison from the ancient world.

I do not know why the front pediment was painted or whether that was the original design. The building forms a wonderful anchor for the end of McPherson Avenue at Kingshighway.

Next up, of course, is the former St. John’s United Methodist Church, which is now Link Auction House, named after the architect of the building, Theodore Link.

The church opened in 1903, and provides the anchor for the southwest corner of Washington and Kingshighway boulevards. It is an ingenious design as it actually has two front pedimented entrances for each of its two front doors, both in the Ionic Order. St. Raphael in St. Louis Hills has a similar configuration.

I believe the unique design of the church by Link was inspired by the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, which also has the double entrances and offset groundplan.

It also has an interesting Gothic Revival chapel (not pictured) on the western, Washington Place side of the building, which was a later addition.

I’ve always enjoyed the bell tower, which serves as the fulcrum between the two parts of the church.

Interestingly, it once had a different fence around the front of its property.

Richard Lemen, Kingshighway Lake Pub. Sewer, January 7, 1933. Lemen Streets and Sewers Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, St. Louis Public Library, lemen0902.

I looked at the beautiful former Temple Israel back in March of 2014. It is still one of my favorite Beaux-Arts buildings in St. Louis, and seems to continue to be occupied.

The school building to the west has had different ownership for several decades.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the original cornice was removed and replaced with brick.

For awhile, the school next door was Abraham Lincoln High School.

Abraham Lincoln High School, 1968, Missouri History Museum, P0900-S02-00189

One Comment

  1. The ‘Holy Corners’ is one of the most uniquely beautiful streetscapes of any American city. I really hope that these important buildings will remain a part of the rich architectural heritage of the area. Thanks for the pictures!

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