North Second Street, East Side, Laclede’s Landing

We’ll first look at the east side of North Second Street, heading north. The two buildings on the right are the Greeley and Cutlery buildings, respectively.

Henry T. Mizuki, Greeley building at 618-624 North 2nd Street in Laclede’s Landing, July 26, 1980, Missouri History Museum, P0374-800726-A33-T5, Ⓒ Eugene J. Mackey & Associates

Back in 1980, the two buildings were shabby, looked abandoned, and the Cutlery Building was still sporting a fire escape like something you would see in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Henry T. Mizuki, Greeley building at 618-624 North 2nd Street in Laclede’s Landing, July 26, 1980, Missouri History Museum, P0374-800726-A31-T5, Ⓒ Eugene J. Mackey & Associates

But their beauty was still unmistakable. I’m afraid that very cool sign that says “Tents” was probably not viewed as being historic and was destroyed.

You can see the first floors of both buildings below in 1979 looking south towards the Eads Bridge and before the now-demolished parking garage in the Arch grounds.

View of cobblestone street on Laclede’s Landing (First Street). Photograph by St. Louis Globe-Democrat staff photographer, 1979. Missouri Historical Society Photographs and Prints Collections. NS 36706 (scan). Scan © 2007, Missouri Historical Society.

And here is the view, approximately, today.

Today, the buildings look much different, of course.

First up is the Cutlery Factory, which was once owned by Henry Shaw, but it was not location of his famous dry good store which made him so wealthy before the Civil War.

The next building to the left, or north, is the Greeley Building, which is probably from the 1870s, which was a wholesale grocery business.

The two buildings have distinctive cornices, one made of pressed tin, and the other made of brick and tin.

Moving north across Lucas Avenue, there’s more intact streetscapes, with one notable exception.

Apparently the old Judge Coffee Company Building had some need for rebuilding, and this artist’s concept shows the in-fill. Looking above and then below, you can see that what was planned was largely built. The pedestrian projections were a little off.

Old Judge Coffee Company, c. 1970, Missouri History Museum, N41311

The new building that was built as in-fill matches the massing of the other historic structures, but it is simple in ornamentation.

There are two more well-preserved cast iron storefronts that complete the block before we reach Morgan Street. Then there is the giant parking lot up to the MLK Bridge.

The photograph below is possibly located somewhere in the general area, but due to the substantial loss in the historic fabric of the area, it is hard to identify where it is exactly. It is not the 600 block of North Second, I don’t think, but maybe further north?

William Swekosky, View of Street Paving, Possibly Near 610 North 2nd Street, 1909, Missouri History Museum, N07902

2 Comments Add yours

  1. james rogers says:

    i helped refurbish the Henry Shaw Building back in 1966. It was sitting empty and the person I worked for put several businesses in it. This was just before the Arch was finished and it was the first building remodeled and it started the entire Laclede’s Landing area being done.

    1. cnaffziger says:

      Oh wow, you must have some great stories to tell!

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