Former Burger Chef, Arsenal and Jefferson

Just to the north of the beautiful street wall of Nineteenth Century buildings lining South Jefferson north of Wyoming, a parking lot appears.

A keen eye will see that faded but still visible paint, including a yellow arrow can be seen in the cracked and deteriorating asphalt.

Then, like at Pompeii, a ceramic floor appears, revealing that a structure once stood here, many years ago, and in fact for so long that another later era of habitation required an additional layer of flooring to be laid down.

In the mid Twentieth Century, a society known as Drive-In Culture built a structure known as “Burger Chef,” and its ruins can be viewed here like the remnants of a Roman villa destroyed by Mount Vesuvius.

Historic photography reveals in the second photograph that what you see below today was a much different sight many decades ago, when the southwest corner of South Jefferson at Arsenal looked much, much different.

Does anyone remember this Burger Chef on Jefferson Avenue?

Susan Mattison, Jefferson Ave. & Arsenal St., looking southwest, 1977, Benton Park District Slide Collection, Saint Louis Public Library Special Collections, 201.

And in case you were wondering, that large building out the back of the house in the first photograph was once a union hall.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kameron W Murphy says:

    Amazing post, Chris. This should be such a prime site, hopefully we’ll see a new. urban, commercial use on this corner some day.

    1. Jess says:

      Or a cannabis dispensary.
      Ahhh… the future looks bright indeed!

      1. cnaffziger says:

        That’s what they turned the old Burger King into on South Grand.

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