Magic Chef Factory

Update: Demolished in late 2017.

We learned from the owner of the giant building on South Kingshighway on The Hill that the huge edifice was once the Magic Chef Factory. Above is what was originally the front door of the factory, facing the major avenue.

I had always wondered why the Magic Chef office building was on South Kingswhighway, and now it makes sense; it was just a couple of blocks from the factory.

The factory is best viewed from on top of the crumbling South Kingshighway viaduct, which was probably built due to the heavy rail traffic going in and out of the bustling building.


Image courtesy of Jason Gray.

I love how the building curves for the rail siding; it’s a little hard to tell from this pictures but rail cars could back into the heart of the complex.

Later, an equally massive addition was built in what I estimate to be the 1950’s. The Magic Chef brand technically still exists, but the grand factory was closed long ago, and has sat mostly empty since. Do you have any memories of the factory being open and operating? I would be interested in hearing your memories.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter says:

    This explains the fancy Magic Chef Mansion on Russell at Compton Hill Place.

  2. samizdat says:

    The expansion was a working industrial building into the 90’s, at least. Quite possibly into the new century. However, I don’t think it was occupied by Magic Chef. Whatever they made there, it involved some very loud machinery. Which makes me wonder: Did they move because the City pressured them to (this happens more frequently than I can count; yes, the City actually goes out of its way to make some businesses feel unwelcome, most of which are high-paying industrial/manufacturing jobs), or did this business just fold, or was it bought out and closed (also happens with great frequency)? Seeing as how a residential street shared the space with this industrial building, I’m curious.

    And, as always, graffiti ‘artists’ are a multi-billion dollar nuisance, in addition to being a bunch of immature parasites who have mommy issues.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      The owner drove up when we were there and said it was their factory. Wondering if he was wrong?

      1. samizdat says:

        Well, if it is his building, he sure isn’t doing a great job of securing it. Which leads me to believe that he may have been pulling your chain. (I’ve known people like this; they think they’re soooo funny, but they’re really just d**ks)

        BTB, thanks for the info on this building. I’ve always wondered what it produced. Of other note is the building on K-way, @ McRee, which has a fading ghost sign on the McRee side, which says ‘American Baking Machinery’ on it. I have a feeling it operated as a foundry for the heavy iron parts used in stoves and ovens, with assembly being conducted at another site. Here’s what it does now, at least according to a 2006 website copyright:

        I’m thinking if it is in operation yet as Meeco, it probably handles assembly and rebuilds, and a little machining, with casting off-site.

  3. Tom Maher - Kirkwood says:

    The Mansion has its own site (who knew?):

    During the late ’30s, this company sold almost 50% (!) of all stoves sold in the USA! They are highly regarded by restorers and bring bigga bucks.

    There are companies that make repops of these (and other stoves) for even bigger bucks. A friend “commissioned” one of these magic Chef stoves a few years ago: Almost $10K, plus a huge freight bill. See

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Yes, the owner is a very gracious host who frequently hosts community events there. I was just there a couple of months ago.

  4. Broadwing says:

    Well, whatever happens, it’s better than the atrocity committed to the Magic Chef HQ building…

    1. Chris Naffziger says:


  5. constance Cafazza says:

    Check it out – This place may be “upcycled” to start growing and supplying STL with local tomatoes!!!

  6. P aul Meyer says:

    McDonnell Aircraft used the building for assemby in the 60″s

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