Abandoned Factory, Walnut Park #1


Situated on a quiet backstreet near West Florissant Avenue, the Barry-Wehmiller Machinery Co. sits in a state of increasing ruin.

Later taken over in the 1990’s by a wholesale industrial product resale concern, it now sits abandoned, and filled with “stuff.”

See an article here about the interior of the factory.

Owned by the City’s Land Reutilization Authority, it most likely is polluted and hazardous for use. One can only imagine in 1912, when the factory opened, the sounds of boots on the streets as workers walked down the street from their homes in Walnut Park.

The Horseshoe, Completely Gone


I had the opportunity to get a ride up to the infamous Horseshoe, a section of one way street that loops around a desolate corner of Wells-Goodfellow.

I asked one of my students, a St. Louis police officer, about the area, and he informed me that he actually grew up on the Horseshoe, and its terrible, violent reputation was well deserved.

Sadly, what a developer had thought would be a perfect neighborhood where children could play in the streets without fear of vehicular traffic became a recipe for another kind of traffic. Since the street was one way, the police had to enter at the top of the Horseshoe, providing plenty of time for drug dealers on the lower half of the loop to be warned of their approach by their confederates.

The official explanation for the Horseshoe’s demolition was that it was in a flood plain and the land was needed for MSD’s use as a retention pond.

Maybe so, but I can’t help but think it worked out well that Wells-Goodfellow was finally rid of this street.

It’s so sad to see what was clearly a beautiful quiet oasis in the city to come to this. Every house is gone now.
Watch a sensationalized show about the area.

Yes, You Can Force CVS to Do What You Want


I have been following the proposed demolition of the AAA Club on Lindell for a while now, but Vanishing St. Louis says it best here. While honestly, it’s not the most urban building in the world, the AAA building is WAY better than the crap that the CVS chain builds. And speaking of them, despite what they claim, they can make buildings that respond to local tastes and context. This CVS, at the intersection of Henry and Clayton Roads, was forced to be a little more stylish than the average CVS. So yes, they will do it if you make them.

Honestly, I think the Preservation Board is a complete joke, more proficient at forcing small home owners to do their bidding than forcing major local power brokers to do what is right. I’ll never forget the meeting where I saw the Board fine a private citizen for two freaking windows that weren’t perfect enough for their tastes, while later on in the meeting they rolled over for a powerful local entity who shall remain anonymous. Basically, if the mayor’s office or alderman wants the building saved, it will be, and if not, it’s toast.

Heck, even Walgreen’s tries a little bit harder if forced, as this store at Clayton and Clarkson Roads attests. Do I think these two stores I just showed are the pinnacles of Western architecture? Of course not, but they’re slightly better than the average, ugly stores the two chains build.