Survivors, Chicago, August 2023

We’ll finish up Chicago by looking at those vestiges from the past that survived the rapid gentrification and rebuilding of the central core of the Windy City which has happened over the last forty years. A hundred years ago, the area north of the Chicago River was a relatively peaceful residential neighborhood, but with the…

Around Blair Avenue, Hyde Park

If you wondered what that giant forty foot deep hole looked like before it was almost completely filled in, this is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago. MSD was working to get the sewer line fixed. Interestingly, it broke in the same place one hundred years ago. I suspect, looking at old…

Eden Park Reservoir, Cincinnati

I’ve long been interested in the now largely abandoned practice in Western civilization of combining utilitarian structures with pleasure grounds in urban and even rural environments. Take Compton Hill Reservoir Park in St. Louis or Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, for example. Such practices go far back in history until at least the Renaissance and…

Compton Hill Reservoir Park, Revisited November 2021

The shadows were growing long late on a Saturday when I decided to go by Reservoir Park in the Compton Heights neighborhood, which I realized I first photographed way back in October of 2007. The park represents a time and place where civic architecture beautified even the most functional features of the St. Louis landscape….

Randall Place, West Side, Revisited

The weather was nice and sunny and I was up visiting Piekutowski’s Sausages in Hyde Park, so I thought I would swing by Randall Place, an exceptional collection of houses near the Bissell Mansion. It seems like the first house in the post from September of 2017 has been demolished, as well as the one…

Bissell Water Tower, October 2020

I stopped by the Bissell Water Tower after looking at the Grand Water Tower. It’s on tap for rehabilitation next, according to people I’ve spoken with.

Grand Water Tower, Repainted

I went by and photography the Grand Water Tower (yes, I know it’s technically a standpipe) and checked out the new paint job. It looks great. Compare it to my photograph of the capital in particular from March of 2019 to see the difference.


Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church has a rich history stretching back to 1840, making it one of the oldest parishes in Missouri, and probably west of the Mississippi. The current church dates from 1895. Franciscan sisters provided for the education in the parish school, which dates to 1857. Some of the earliest buildings were log…

College Hill in the Snow #14: Grand Water Tower, 9:15 AM

Update: The Grand Water was repainted in the summer of 2020. I once wrote that George I. Barnett designed the Grand Water Tower to look like it was the relic of a long-gone civilization, and with the way that the city has disappeared around it, his wish has ironically come true.