When one first thinks of Fenton, the Chrysler Plant comes to mind, stretching across the valley floor of the Meramec River. But Fenton also has a small town side, separate from the miles of suburban tract housing built for autoworkers, or the huge McMansions rising in the post-industrial age of the far southwestern municipality.

Downtown Fenton, located along old Gravois Road, also has a small town feel in its historic core. Take for example, this lovely church.

Below is what I think is now a banquet center, but I suspect was once a small hotel.

The bridge across the Meramec River was closed in the aftermath of the 35W collapse in Minneapolis. It is old, probably dates to the Depression, and could probably be saved. I don’t know how much people care about the Endangered Meramec River Bridges of Missouri, but they are drastically dwindling.

Update: The new bridge opened on August 18, 2012. The Chrysler Plant was torn down for redevelopment. As of 2020, the site still remains vacant.

Ironically, I wrote this post just a day before the announcement that Chrysler will soon be completely gone from Fenton. What the future holds for Fenton should embrace historic preservation and emphasis on a small historic river town setting such as this in the post heavy manufacturing age.

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