Falstaff Brewery No. 10, Revisited July 2020

I came back to photograph the old Falstaff Plant No. 10 the second Saturday of July to see how it was doing. I always enjoy the Lemp and Anheuser-Busch breweries, but I like how the architecture of this plant contrasts so much from those two more famous institutions. I’ve also decided to go ahead and created a tag for this brewery since I’ve done so many posts for it now.

I’ve made some interesting discoveries recently about the plant, which has long been famous for its extensive number of owners and names. It was originally begun by the Stumpfs, who at one point owned a brewery in partnership with William Lemp Sr. at the corner of Decatur and Anne streets. But I discovered that they began using the caves under this brewery before they actually moved the brewing operations here. So like the Lemps, George Schneider, Ezra English, Uhrig and possibly others, the Stumpfs once had a “country” lagering cave where they eventually moved their brewery.

What is also interesting, if readers want to look, is that while the exterior of the buildings did not change after their construction in the late Nineteenth Century, sometimes their use on the interior did. First up is the Whipple Insurance Maps from 1896, when the buildings were new.

Perhaps what is so amazing about the Whipple map above is how dense the neighborhood is, and also how much other industry is located at the intersection of Lemp and Shenandoah. Below, is the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from August of 1909, showing how the brewery had evolved over the last decade.

Finally, the plat map from somewhere around the time after the Ozark Expressway was built, and when the Griesedieck Bros. Brewery transferred to their cousins in the Falstaff branch of the family, we see that the functions of the buildings have changed dramatically, and many of the operations have moved to newer buildings on the surrounding blocks.

First up is the soaring stock house, which perhaps is easily recognizable due to its relative lack of windows. Stock houses are often ambiguous buildings in breweries, but they usually store finished beer, but can also store the raw materials needed for brewing.

There is a beauty to it that evokes a medieval fortress.

The relaying of brick on the offices(?), which I had photographed in October of 2019, is complete as well. You can see the relaid brick on the two bays on the left.

Now, look closely above at the lower right corner of the courses of rusticate stonework. It is very obvious that there are two sources of stone, descending in from the upper right to the lower left, as you can see below. I suspect that when the building above was added, they deconstructed the wall of the building to the right, the brew house, and reused the stone to build the curtain wall of its new neighbor.

The brew house itself is quite impressive, and its survival gives us a window into what dozens of St. Louis breweries outside of the “Big Two” would have looked like originally. There was obviously a lot of calcium in the mortar!

I always appreciate that builders and their patrons were concerned with public relations, and carefully labeled their brewery buildings. It makes my job really easy. Below are more details of the brew house.

Next up is a building that was labeled “Storage” both on the facade and on the fire insurance maps; I would imagine this was for a variety of uses.

Finally, there is the massive stock house built on the north exposure of the brewery, stretching the full width of the block along Shenandoah between the alley and Lemp Avenue.

I also spotted two interesting tie rod caps, including a six-point star.

And a damaged flourish cap which I’ve seen on buildings at Anheuser-Busch.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. David Arnold says:

    The posts are really bringing back memories. From 1992 until 1995, I lived on that block at 1826 Lami in a 3 story rowhouse dating from the late 1800s, with 3 other friends while we were all attending various colleges. Our street was a dead end overlooking I-55. There were three row houses on our side and one on the other side that had been turned into a bed and breakfast, but was originally the residence of the brewmaster for this brewery. I remember driving home at night and seeing this massive hulk of a brewery on Lemp Avenue , after turning off of Gravois. It was a little spooky at times, because the brewery complex was always dark and reminded me of a big haunted house or castle. I remember going to the A-1 Wok across the street, which at the time was the best Chinese food I had ever had. I had a lot of good times there.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      A-1 Wok is still is business! And I know which street you’re talking about. It is still well-preserved and people are maintaining those houses. I remember someone else mentioning the brewmaster’s house being on that block. One of the Griesedieck family members lived in a house demolished for the interstate further to the east.

  2. Joe V. says:

    Hey Chris, I just came upon your site as my Grandparents spent their whole married lives on 2011 James Street, in full view of the loading docs. I spent a great deal of my childhood in the ’50s and ’60s there. I will never forget the distinct smell of the brewery, I guess from yeast and hops. I also remember always seeing the Falstaff logo on the factory’s consumer pub as we turned off Gravois on Salena heading to Jame’s Street. Thanks for posting, man.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Oh, I came really close to James Street in this post:

      1. Joe V. says:

        Ha! The house with the wreath is my Grandpa Al’s house. http://stlouispatina.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Copyright-St.-Louis-Patina-9673.jpg We have a huge family, 10 kids. You cannot imagine the life we had there. I’d love to know everything about this area.

  3. Joe V. says:

    BTW, Chris, my Mom and Dad were married at St. Agnes church very close to there. I’d love for you to explore that building as it is boarded up now. It’s beautiful inside.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I looked at the exterior last year:

Leave a Reply to Joe V. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.