A Suite of Three Storefronts

Debaliviere Place 149

Walking west from Belt Avenue on Pershing towards DeBaliviere, one encounters three commercial buildings placed in regular intervals along the long block. Here is the first one, with the distinctive decorative motifs that continue in the other two.

Debaliviere Place 150

The second one, in the middle of the ensemble separated by other buildings, is below.

Debaliviere Place 155 Debaliviere Place 156 Debaliviere Place 157 Debaliviere Place 159 Debaliviere Place 160 Debaliviere Place 161 Debaliviere Place 162 Debaliviere Place 163

The the last one, which interestingly does not have the same colored terracotta but clearly has the same designs on the shields.

Debaliviere Place 166 Debaliviere Place 167

5 Comments Add yours

  1. CfR says:

    Very cool. I suspect that someone who is much more well versed in symbolism would have a field day with all those shields and crests. It looks as if there are letters in one of the upper shields? I could only guess what they stand for…

  2. David Warner says:

    The shields and crests interest me as well. My guess is that they’re masonic, but maybe the architect really liked the Byzantine empire and it’s double-eagle?

  3. Tom Maher - Kirkwood MO says:

    The shield with the two snakes and the torch should refer to medicine (the caduceus) and the key might be a symbol for knowledge of medicine.
    The shields with the eagles, whether one or two-headed, would be the symbol for Imperial Germany.
    Don’t forget that that Pershing was known as Berlin Avenue before WWI and, while these buildings were constructed after the war, the eagle shields would be a sly reference by the owner to the original name.

    The storefront at the far right of the last photo, #5615, was the home of various car companies over the years (whence the garage doorway and still-extent driveway at its end). For a number of years in the ’50s-’60s, it was the home of Continental Cars, the Morris/MG/Austin-Healey dealer. I bought many Morris parts there, starting in 1958 – even bought my last Morris Minor there in ’67. The agency later moved to a much larger dealership on Delmar, East of Skinker.

    The back of the store was used for repair, and the upper floor was used for car storage/repair. It’s possible the second story of the entire complex was used for car storage; I was only up in that inner-sanctum once and am just not sure. I don’t recall if there was an internal ramp to the second floor or an elevator; i suspect the latter.

    1. Tom Maher - Kirkwood MO says:

      I forgot – there was also a side entrance to the work area, which is still there, although used as some sort of storefront.
      There are also still faded painted shields with the eagle on the bricks of the East side of the building.

  4. samizdat says:

    Ah, the first one held the restaurant Sunflour, which was one of the best, cheapest gourmet restaurants in the City. In the mid-late 90’s, you could walk out of there with a bill (including tip; almost always 20% from us) of 40-50$ or less. Probably our favorite restaurant of our years together. They made these perfect little whole-wheat round breads as a starter, and served them with olive oil. Also a quiet spot, as restaurants go these days. One could actually have a conversation. What a great place; still miss it.

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