Ethical Society of St. Louis

Speaking of ethics, I had the opportunity to visit the Ethical Society of St. Louis a couple of weeks ago, just after heavy rains had roared through the metro area, leaving dramatic skies in the background of my photos.

Designed by famed local architect Harris Armstrong, the building presented the designer with a conundrum: the Ethical Society has no need for traditional Christian implements but it is still a meeting place.

The rainbow stained glass creates a welcoming and friendly entrance, though ironically most people enter through the back of the building due to the autocentric nature of Clayton Road and the location of the parking lot in the rear.

The corner reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright, with its cantilevered supports allowing for a large window. Due to the use of steel-reinforced concrete, no corner supports are needed.

No cross is needed, either, at the apex of the spire-like central roof, and instead a skylight allows in natural light.

Like I said before, the back side is what greets most visitors.

The interior lobby has a wide variety of bright colored stained glass panels.

The central space swoops up into the sky with curved wood beams.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Preston says:

    A special Thank You, Chris for these photos. They remind me of my growing up in St. Louis and driving by there so many times.

  2. Richard S says:

    I have never been to St. Louis, but if I ever do I will use your website as a guide to find places like this. An exquisite photograph of a unique building.

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