Hyde Park in the Morning Light #3, Old Divoli Library

Years ago, when I photographed this old library before, it was the “Library Service Center,” whatever that is. There were not the piles of stone lying around the fenced in yard. I like this corner with “History” and “Travel” as well as “Art” and “Music” on the other side. Look at the thought put into…

Light Posts and Flag Poles, Central Library

A Beaux-Arts architect left nothing to chance, assiduously designing every aspect of a commission. Even the lamppost, such as the one above, received first class treatment, and was not purchased on-line from Home Depot. The flag pole, above and below, also has a wealth of ornamentation and symbolism. Griffins and other allegorical figures that probably…

Main Portal, Central Library

The main portal, with archways inspired by the Barberini Palace, possesses important names from literature. The largest names: Goethe, Milton and Racine, represent the major languages of St. Louis, German, English and French. In the roundels below those three names, in between the arches, are Homer, Dante Alighieri, Virgil and William Shakespeare, representing the languages…

Central Library, Details

The details and craftsmanship of the Central Library shows in things such as the balustrade, or the bronze work, or the terrazzo vaulting.

Central Library

The Central Library, by Cass Gilbert, is a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style, a triumph of combining ancient influences from Greece and Rome, with the best of the Italian Renaissance. The main branch of the St. Louis Public Library system combines elements of the Tabularium, the ancient Roman records hall with the Barberini and Farnese…

Wood River Library

This cool little Modernist library shows the optimism in America after World War II. It’s in good shape, and busy the day we visited.

Cabanne Library and Clark School, Union Boulevard

Opened in 1901, the Cabanne Branch of the St. Louis Public Library was originally funded by Andrew Carnegie. It reminds me of the appearance of Italian-inspired orangeries I have seen in Germany. Nearby is Clark Elementary, another Ittner and Milligan creation from 1907. The architecture again is reminiscent of British private schools still in existence…

The A. B. Safford Memorial Library and U.S. Customs House, Cairo, Illinois

Described by locals as being “Queen Anne,” I would say that the A.B. Safford Library is more an eclectic mix of various styles,with strong Romanesque Revival elements. Regardless, it is a stunning building, whose excellent condition clashes with much of the desolation around it. Inside the 1884 structure is a very nice, and surprisingly high…

Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University

I’ll admit it; I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pius XII Memorial Library on the campus of Saint Louis University.  But up close, I discovered there is a simple beauty to the straight lines that repeat throughout the facade. Influenced by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the first floor seems to dissolve, leaving the…