Starting tomorrow, I’m introducing a new type of post where I focus on the history of architecture, in particular focusing on monuments that influence the built environment of St. Louis. I’ll go back and add a couple of older posts into the new architectural history category, but for the most part, these will be new posts. I will tend to use cities and buildings I’ve personally visited, and many of these posts will also end up being under further afield, as well, logically. I’ve been wanting to do this now for a while, and I finally got around to it!
I’ll be honest, and this might offend some people, but I find the study of St. Louis architecture by many practitioners to be hopelessly scholastic, in the Medieval sense of the word: only understand something enough to practice it on a bureaucratic level. I feel my own education focuses on a more humanistic, critical standpoint: what is really beautiful, how does it fit into the grand scheme of the history of Western Civilization? Being able to describe the minutia of a building is all well and good, but failing to see what it means, and what it meant to its patron and builder misses the entire point. Architecture is meant to be enjoyed, and understood from the standpoint of enjoyment. My writing has the luxury of not having to please government bureaucrats. So tomorrow, we’ll start that holistic, historic approach to the understanding of architecture, and how it fits into St. Louis architecture.