Cherokee Street Between Minnesota and Pennsylvania Avenues, North Side

Crossing Minnesota, again looking at some buildings I saw back in January of 2017, we see the same sort of corner storefronts that transition the edge of blocks to the middle. These photos above and below show the evolution of the street, from early Greek Revival rural construction, to later residential in the middle, to…

Good Hope M.S. Baptist Church, Revisited

I realized recently that sadly the church at West Florissant Avenue and North Grand Boulevard is clearly vacant. Formerly known as Water Tower Baptist Church, it had held out until recently, but judging from the windows that have blown open or are hanging by a single hinge, the telltale signs are clear. Like much of…

Sinclair Dinosaur Sighting

It has been over a decade since I last spotted the rare Sinclair Dinosaur, brontosaurus sinclairensus, in its natural habitat of a gas station. This one is in Iowa, in an undisclosed location. Note that the owner has chained it to the canopy support to prevent theft. The one in Dutchtown, which I photographed in…

Around Marshall County, Illinois, June 2022

North of Washburn is the town of La Rose, which is in Marshall County. The country actually has two parts on either side of the Illinois River. The town is dominated by a grain elevator, a part of which looks to be quite old. The booth for the truck scale is still standing, much like…

A Tour of the Sites Mentioned in the Federal Indictment

Update: As of August 26, 2022, all three former aldermen plead guilty to the allegations made by federal prosecutors and have been sentenced by a judge. The text of the following post has been updated to reflect the changes from allegations at the time of the original writing to guilty pleas. By now I’m sure…

Gravois Avenue Between Compton and Minnesota Avenues

In my dreams I have this fantasy where I win the lottery, and among other things, I secretly purchase all the crumby autocentric stores and used-car lots along Gravois east of Grand through straw buyers, and rebuild a pedestrian-friendly urban environment–you know, like what used to be there one hundred years ago. I’m not expecting…

Cathedral of St. Raphael and Environs, Dubuque, Iowa

The Cathedral of St. Raphael was completed in 1861 in brick, with the front facade in limestone finished later in 1876. Dubuque is actually an archdiocese, despite being by far a much smaller city than many other metropolitan areas in Iowa. It speaks to its rich history as a Roman Catholic community that the smaller…

Central Avenue Between 5th and 9th Streets, Dubuque, Iowa

The downtown area of Dubuque is large, reflecting its historically large economy and importance in the lumber and woodworking business. Central Avenue is one of several north-south arteries that run between the Mississippi River and the bluffs, making the downtown area long and slender. South of the Dubuque County Courthouse, there are some amazing buildings,…

Fredericktown and Mine La Motte, Madison County

Fredericktown is the picturesque county seat of Madison County, Missouri, south of St. Louis quite a ways in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It was the site of a Civil War battle due to the nearby lead mines needed to create bullets during the conflict. The courthouse sits in the middle of the town…