Former Site of Union Park, Soulard

Along Russell Boulevard in Soulard is an interesting row of buildings, some quite old such as this one above and below which now houses artists’ studios (as well as an amazing terracotta frieze which is sadly obscured by a gnarled tree). I was alerted by a friend who once lived here. If anyone has a…

Oak Hill, The Old Russell-Parker Estate

The Russells and Parkers operated coal and clay mines in what is now the expansive Tower Grove South neighborhood in the Nineteenth Century. Their house, which was owned in turn by both families, but seems to have been built by William Russell, sat at 3405 Oak Hill Avenue and Fairview and Parker. The house sat…

The Last House, N. 20th Street, St. Louis Place

I don’t know why, but I have come to find this house fascinating in its ability to survive urban disinvestment, redevelopment and abandonment. It sits on a small parcel of land, backing up to new in-fill houses that face St. Louis Place Park, and for whatever reason, it has not been demolished. The plywood looks…

4300 Block of West Belle Place

I thought it would be interesting to examine the block that was the subject of one of the most infamous election fliers in St. Louis history. In 1916, voters approved an ordinance that outlawed a member of one race to move onto a block where members of one race already constituted a 75% majority. It…

Wells-Goodfellow, Autumn 2021, Part Two

Just beyond that well kept block of Hebert we are confronted with the abandonment of Clara across from the Horseshoe, which has not gotten any better than when I walked down these streets back in March of 2017. The Horseshoe is gone, of course, and is serving as parking for this church as well as…

Twenty Years Since 9/11, Revisiting Washington, DC, Part Two

We crossed over the Memorial Bridge into the Commonwealth of Virginia, and picked up the Metro to head to Alexandria and meet up with an old professor friend of mine. The Metro used to be the pride and joy of Washington, DC, but I was shocked at how far it had fallen. While it had…

Marine Avenue Between Cahokia and Miami Streets, West Side

Marine Avenue is most likely named thus because the old Marine Hospital was on the east side of the street. It is long gone, but the beautiful housing stock is largely preserved on the west side of the street. I’ve looked at this corner storefront before, once back in July of 2014 and then again…

Mullanphy Hospital

Recently I was looking for another hospital at the Missouri History Museum when I spotted the photo below, labeled the Mullanphy Hospital. I thought for certain it was mislabeled, and captured a pre-cupola image of the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center on Arsenal Street. I was wrong–it is in fact a hospital that once sat…

The Roebling Bridge, Between Cincinnati and Covington

One of the most important bridges in the history of architecture and engineering spans the Ohio River in between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. Opened in 1866, years before the revolutionary Eads Bridge in St. Louis, it served as the important prototypical step for the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Construction faced the same challenges:…