All this week, Saint Louis Patina is looking back over the last three years, revisiting the highlights of dozens of expeditions and thousands of photographs.
These two early posts are of the greatest significant in the history of this website; one represents my first attempt at an historic architecture post I actually did for an old website that no longer exists, and the second is the post that covers the events that led me to finally meet other historic preservationists in St. Louis:
(1) Downtown St. Louis: Where No St. Louisan Has Gone Before
I was back in town for Christmas break of 2005, I think, and I had been reading some of the local blogs about downtown and North St. Louis. I got my street atlas out and started driving, not really knowing where I was going. I ate downtown, and went up to Crown Candy for the first time. There wasn’t anybody there except a couple of cops eating lunch. I drove up Blair to the water towers, and then got back on the interstate. My appetite had been whetted, and I kept thinking about the Northside even when I returned to Washington, DC. I was slowly starting to realize that I wasn’t really happy in DC anymore, and that maybe St. Louis wouldn’t be such a bad place to live after all.
(2) My Encounter With Brick Thieves in North St. Louis
I had been working on Saint Louis Patina for several months at this point in September of 2007, and I was intrigued by St. Louis Place, one of the most battered neighborhoods in St. Louis. I decided I was going to go on my merry way and look for myself. Ten minutes later, I found myself flying down the streets of North St. Louis, desperately trying to escape from a group of brick thieves who were none too happy about me photographing on the same street as them. I e-mailed Michael Allen at Ecology of Absence about my experience (even though I had never met him before, I figured he would be interested in the brick thief story), and he invited me to a happy hour that was coming up soon at Shady Jacks. That night I met the first handful of what would become many people who share the same zeal and interest in St. Louis architecture. Almost three years later, I still talk with many of the same people. Sadly, brick theft continues, as I have been documenting, and only the future can say what will become of many of the buildings in the cross-hairs of brick thieves.