Reservoir Market

Reservoir Market Compton and Dry

Update: Demolished by September of 2018.

Soulard Market was not always the only public market in St. Louis; French Market and Mound Market are two other fairly well documented markets that served the residents of St. Louis inside Jefferson Avenue. But there was yet another one, the Reservoir Market, which is labeled as #7 in the upper right hand corner in Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis. What is very cool about the Compton and Dry image is that it shows the market’s namesake in a state of severe disrepair or demolition; the reservoir, which had served St. Louis’s early water needs, had already been replaced by other facilities. The building labeled #6 as “engine house” presumably provided the steam power to pump water up from the Mississippi.

Copyright St. Louis Patina -006

The Reservoir Market is still standing, albeit in a highly damaged state; it was condemned for demolition in January 2013. After it ceased to be the Reservoir Market, it became the school for Sacred Heart Parish, as can be seen in the Sanborn Map below from the turn of the century. It also received an addition after the fifth bay. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city, dating from 1865, according to the National Register nomination. See it in better times in this post from the Preservation Research Office.

Sacred Heart Sanborn

In what is largely a departure from other Catholic parishes, the school and church were located several blocks apart, unlike many Northside parishes whose schools sat across the street from their respective churches. Sacred Heart, a classic example of American architects’ creative eclecticism, apparently burned in 1981, only to be completely demolished in 1986. It is surely one of the greatest ecclesiastical losses to St. Louis’s built environment.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul says:

    Wow. Knowing that it was a market just makes me more depressed about this. Seeing the Biddle street market resurrected could help ease the pain though…

  2. Mary Hogan-Smith says:

    The Reservoir Market was used by Sacred Heart as a school from 1871 to 1916. Initially they only rented the second floor. According to the history of Sacred Heart Parish 75th Jubilee history published in 1946 the Market on the ground floor closed sometime in the 1890’s. In 1916 the new school opened on St. Louis Ave at 25th St . That served as the school until it was closed by the Diocese in 1969. The building now houses the Griot Museum. It is very sad to see history being erased.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Thanks for the interesting information, Mary.

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