Cementland, April 2023

Cementland, for those who haven’t heard, has been sold to a barge and commodities company, and judging from recent satellite images, much of the structures built on the property have been cleared. I went by on a recent Saturday and there is a new gate on the front entrance, and evidence of earth having been…

End of Winter 2023 Odds and Ends

The old Soulard Branch of the St. Louis Public Library has had several uses over the last decade besides the commercial space facing 7th Boulevard. There was “The Library” and then “The Archives.” They’re both gone. Below, in McKinley Heights, I still can’t believe that Second Empire house below is sitting vacant; the property values…

Front Street, Washington, Franklin Coutny

We’ll head down to Front Street along the Misssouri River, where unlike nearby New Haven, here that street name is more logically facing the riverbank where steamboats would have docked. There is a parking lot for visitors, which I’m not thrilled about and I think would be best filled in eventually. Industry such as corncob…

Checking In on the Metro East: Granite City Industry

After leaving Madison, I wandered over into Granite City, where I soon found myself on East 23rd Street, and lo and behold, there was TMS Services. I went to their website, and after reading their “About Us” section I still have absolutely no idea what they do. I guess it looks like they probably scrap…

Former Bridge, Beach & Co., Revisited

I’ve looked at the massive Bridge, Beach & Co. factory on North Union Boulevard twice before, once in August of 2014 and then again in November of 2018. It seems to stretch onto blocks on both sides of Brown Avenue and terminates on the west side of Geraldine Avenue. The Sanborn Map from 1920 shows…

Richard Pryor and Peoria

I had known for awhile that Richard Pryor was from Peoria, but I had always assumed it was one of those situations where he was born there and had moved away when he was a small child. That is far…

In Search of LeTourneau, Peoria

It is amazing how quickly we lose the memory of the huge old factories that once powered America through peacetime, and then when war came, helped defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Few people probably know the LeTourneau name anymore,…

The Kaletta Statuary Company

Editor’s Note: Due to the malfunctioning of St. Louis Patina in mid-January 2022, the original text of this post was lost. In the future, the commentary will be rewritten, but in the meantime, the post’s photos that survived the website crash will be presented as is.