I was wandering around North St. Louis this last Saturday when I spotted the spire of the most interesting church I had seen in a long time. It turns out it was St. Augustine, a long closed parish church in a nebulous area west of Parnell, the northern extension of Jefferson Ave. I was awestruck at the sheer size of the abandoned church, and the surrounding desolation gave the entire neighborhood and church the look of a ruined German village.
You can see a vintage photograph at the Archdiocesan archives here. It is hard to believe that such a beautiful church could be sitting empty, but I acknowledge that maintaining such a huge structure is not cheap. The church is an amazing and pure example of northern German Gothic ecclesiastical architecture, as can be seen in this example from Konigsberg. In fact the two churches are almost mirror images of each other.
I felt like I was starting to dwell too long in the neighborhood, so I took off after getting what I felt were mediocre pictures of the church. More images of St. Augustine can be seen at the Built St. Louis website. Rather curiously, the adjacent parish house seemed to be (legally) occupied when I passed by. The block directly across the street, as seen in this satellite image, is completely empty; perhaps it could serve one day as a grand public square in a revitalized neighborhood.
Update: Vacant and severely vandalized and looted. The church is still owned by the same congregation, but they have no money to maintain or secure the structure.