First Baptist Church, St. John

Rapid growth along the St. Charles Rock Road in the years after World War II translated into concurrent expansion of religious institutions along the corridor. First Baptist Church of St. John found its new church buildings too small for its congregation in the matter of years as the number of congregants grew. The Post-Dispatch reported…

Homer G. Phillips Grave, St. Peter’s Cemetery

I was recently giving a talk about the importance of African American lawyer and civil rights activist Homer G. Phillips, and it dawned on me that I didn’t know where he was buried. I’ve looked at the hospital that he was so instrumental in getting built before. I turns out he’s buried with his wife,…

Concrete Block Buildings on the Rock Road

Historically known as the “Block House,” this roadhouse at 8124 St. Charles Rock Road has long been a tavern or roadhouse on the main route between St. Louis and St. Charles. And boy, judging from old newspaper articles, it long had a history of suspended liquor licenses back in the day (disclaimer: in no way…

John F. Kennedy High School, Demolished

Kennedy High School is no more. There are only long piles of rubble. The machines who did the deed are sitting around surveying their work, and other Caterpillar products are awaiting their turn to permanently alter the topography to allow for the construction of half a million dollar houses. I’ve seen it across the country,…

St. John Paul II, Formerly St. George, Roman Catholic Church

Dominating the commanding hill at the intersection of Gravois and Heege roads, the relatively new parish of St. John Paul II Roman Catholic Church in Affton was created by combining St. Dominic Savio and St. George in 2018, using the latter’s building. I looked at this church way off in the distance in the past…

Former John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Under Demolition

Update: Completely demolished by March of 2022. My prediction that the old John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Manchester would be sold to a developer for houses has come to pass. McBride Berra is demolishing it for Arbors at Celtic Meadows. It is an interesting phenomenon of smaller universities buying old high schools and…

Stratford Inn, Abandoned

The Stratford Inn recently suffered a fire that was probably caused by squatters. It had been abandoned for years, after a long run as an extended stay hotel. I think many Americans don’t realize that there is a huge demand for accommodations for people who can’t afford or don’t have the credit to rent traditional…

Alswel, January 2022

I also decided to head down the Meramec River and see how the view of Alswel, which was William Lemp, Jr.’s house that overlooks the Butler Lakes, was doing. His death certificate actually says he was a resident of the Chase Hotel in 1922 at the time of his suicide in the Lemp Mansion.

Cragwold, January 2022

Oops, I didn’t see that tree branch in the way when I took this photo of Cragwold, Edwin Lemp‘s estate on the bluffs overlooking the Meramec River. The large windows overlooking the valley must have provided stunning views for the reclusive bachelor who took his million dollars and retired from brewing at an early age….

Suspicious Fires Week: The Old Bowling Ball Factory, Jennings

“Fire at an old bowling ball factory on Xograph Avenue in Jennings?” I knew when I heard about this strange occurrence, and how the St. Louis Fire Department had to join their colleagues in the County to help extinguish the flames on Thursday (which later reignited on Friday), I had to go check out this…