The Old Cathedral, Interior

I already discussed the copy of the Velázquez two days ago, so we’re going to go around the church and look at some of the other works of art in the newly refurbished interior of the Old Cathedral. While the high altarpiece Crucifixion is not one of them, many of the others are gifts of…

The Old Cathedral, Exterior

I’m glad they didn’t tear down or move the Old Cathedral, but I wish they wouldn’t have left it so stranded in the middle of an interstate on one side, and an incongruous park on the other. Here are various shots of the exterior façade from different angles and croppings. It is the fourth church…

The Old Cathedral, Eighty Years Later

Right on the eve of the demolition of the Levee for the new Gateway Arch grounds the Historic American Buildings Survey photographed the Old Cathedral’s exterior and interior. By then the Old Cathedral was surrounded by warehouses, and very few people actually lived anywhere near the first church in St. Louis (it is a myth…

Updates on the Inner North Side

Update: The remaining houses on the north side of the street have been demolished. Two buildings on St. Louis Avenue in JeffVanderLou apparently had become something of celebrities due to some graffiti someone had painted on them years ago. I came by while they were in the process of being demolished; the one on the…

Writing, Old Cathedral

Update: I examined all of the inscriptions on the façade in February of 2020. I realized that the French and Latin over the doors of the Old Cathedral all say the same thing as the English. Same with the flanking French and English inscriptions.

Gateway Arch Renovations

They’re tearing down the Arch Garage. I think it is just over thirty years old. It’s going to be weird with it gone. Thanks to terrible (non-existent) signage, myself and about twenty tourists ended up on the wrong side of the construction fence. Thanks, guys! Luckily, there was this sign that pointed us in the…

Aubin Fire Insurance Maps, 1874

C.T. Aubin also published an early fire insurance map for the downtown area of St. Louis; the city had already spread outside of the area shown, but what is show is probably close to 99% gone.  So these maps, and the cool key on the front page showing what each building would look like ideally,…

The Riverfront, 1967

A reader was kind enough to give me several photos of her family’s trip on the Huck Finn back in the late 1960’s.  It’s fascinating to see that the riverfront was already by that time largely cleared of buildings, just as it is today.  The traces of St. Louis once being a great river town…

Old Cathedral

The Old Cathedral sits in bizarre isolation, never intended to stand by itself, but rather surrounded by buildings most of its existence. The only intact survivor of the clearance of the original street grid of St. Louis, it nonetheless is an attractive building. Built in the Greek Revival style, it certainly must have been stunning…