The Château and Town of Blois

I’ll be honest; a lot of the Loire Valley featured run-down barns and beaten up farm implements interspersed with mostly new houses built in the last thirty years. But occasionally there were awe-inspiring châteaux and stunning towns that have preserved their historic architecture. One such place is the city of Blois, which sits on the…

Hameau de la Reine

Easily our favorite stop in the grounds of the Trianon was the Hameau de la Reine, or Queen’s Hamlet, constructed on the order of Queen Marie Antoinette. Despite centuries of slander, Marie Antoinette was not a clueless ditz who pretended to be a peasant girl in her Barbie hovel playset. In reality, the Queen’s Hamlet…

The Louvre

I get a good laugh out of the Louvre. It is an absurdity. Obscenely huge, the product of around twenty expansions and now the home of a gigantic museum with a stellar art collection as well as numerous other institutions in other wings, the Louvre was never the seat of the royal government in France….

Back from Paris and Northern France with over a Thousand Photographs

While certainly I wanted to show off the beauty of Dutchtown for two weeks, that was also cover for the fact I was traveling in Europe for over a week, specifically in Paris and throughout northern France. I took over 1,000 photos, which is slacking off a bit considering I took over 2,400 photos back…

Mount Moriah Lodge #40

If you ever have trouble understanding what Egyptian Revival is, look no further than the old Mount Moriah Lodge #40 on North Garrison Avenue. It almost certainly does not preserve its original paint scheme, but nonetheless it is in an excellent state of preservation. Combining elements of the Temple of Karnak at Luxor, it shows…

Lindell Boulevard from Grand Boulevard to Vandeventer Avenue

Ah, Lindell Boulevard! I avoid the street like the plague because it is such a dysfunctional street. Once a residential street lined with mansions, sometime in the Twentieth Century it became the busiest street in the city. The mansions were demolished, and it became lined with businesses, while the through traffic jumped over to Highway…

Henry Shaw’s Houses, Missouri Botanical Garden

Tower Grove House was the country home of Henry Shaw, which used to always boggle my mind when I was a child considering how deep in the city it is today. Also, many people do not realize it was built in stages, with the designs of at least the first part by the famed architect…

The Linnean House, Missouri Botanical Garden

I looked at the Linnean House way back in May of 2008 (third photo), so I thought I would revisit it on the eve of renovations that will see the historic greenhouse integrated into a new entrance and visitors’ center. The design is typical of what is actually called an orangerie, which is where tropical…

The Climatron, Revisited

While not actually designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, the Climatron® remains one of the most important building to be influenced by his principles of the geodesic dome. It was actually designed by the St. Louis firm of Murphy and Mackey, which is still active here and opened in 1960, during a period of optimism in…

Club Imperial, Revisited

Good news! If you were worried that your dreams of owning the building that housed the famous Club Imperial have been dashed, your fears are unfounded! It really is a beautiful building, and if you look carefully, you can see how the architect bent the building to follow the bend in West Florissant Avenue. Hardly…