Second Bottling Plant, Lemp Brewery, Fall 2021

I love this building. The Second Bottling Plant at the Lemp Brewery has many interesting facets to it, starting first with its architects. This is the only building on the property that I’ve definitively shown to be designed by the famed St. Louis firm of Widmann, Walsh and Boisselier. For a long time, many other buildings have mistakenly been attributed to them, but I have shown that the Lemps had a staff architect named Guy Tyler Norton who designed the vast majority of their Twentieth Century physical plant. Anheuser-Busch loved Widmann, Walsh and Boisselier, however, and their relationship is real. The other thing, and you can clearly see it above, is that the building is only two-thirds complete! And more interestingly, the Lemps went on to complete the Third Bottling Plant, a small triangular building tucked to the north, while neglecting to complete the Second Bottling Plant. The finished beer would come over from the New Stock House and be bottled in this huge facility.

Note the Lemp shield above where the name has been chiseled off by International Shoe.

But just look at that curve of the building at the intersection with Cherokee Street, which by the way was originally called Harney Street for a short distance. It was originally the road to Lemp’s Cave, we believe.

Just look at that view below! If the last third of the building had been completed, it would have been solid red brick for 630 feet along South Broadway. You can just see the Third Bottling Plant on the far right below.

More beautiful terracotta work below interspersed with the red brick.

Note the historic photo below, which I believe was probably taken shortly after construction. You can see that there were still houses to the south along Broadway, and the two wood penthouses on the roofline are for elevator equipment, judging from my examination of remnants of machinery on the interior.

Emil Boehl, Second Bottling Plant, Lemp Brewery, Missouri History Museum, N14884

You can get a better idea of the relationship of the Second and Third Bottling Plants below.

Hops and barley are intertwined together behind the defaced Lemp shield in this lunette.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Josiah says:

    Do you when the name was changed from Harney to Cherokee st?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Probably around the 1880s, when there was extensive standardization of street names throughout the city. It should be noted that it was only known as Harney when it turns to the southeast towards the river. The east-west portion through the St. Louis Commons was always knowns as Cherokee Street, keeping with the City’s masterplan of naming streets after Native American Nations.

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