Gethsemene Lutheran Church

I recently attended a musical performance at Gethsemene Lutheran Church, and I found the architecture interesting. During the Middle Ages, it was perfectly normal for churches and cathedrals to be the centers of the community, where music, meetings, theological discussions and other non-ceremonial events would have occurred simply because they were the only large buildings…

Apartment Buildings, Mardel at Hampton Avenue

I sometimes forget how beautiful Southwest City is, and how there are row after row of these iconic four-family apartment buildings, each with their own sense of individuality. These are on the north side of Mardel, just east of Hampton Avenue. It’s interesting in that many of these have their own little vestibule out front,…

St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church

Designed by A.F. and Arthur Stauder in 1958, St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church is one of the many Modernist churches the Archdiocese constructed in the boom years after World War II. The front entrance is dominated by a huge mosaic of the saint, designed most likely by Ravenna Mosaic, which was a branch…

Former Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church

Viewed across the broad green lawns of the west end of Tower Grove Park, the former Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Innocents cuts an interesting profile among the red brick houses along Kingshighway. The parish closed in 2005, but it has roots going back to 1854, in at least two previous locations. Before it…

Betty Wheeler Classical Junior Academy, Former Kennard Elementary School

Update: The School Board of the St. Louis Public Schools officially renamed the school after the founder of Metro High School during the summer of 2022, effectively ending the debate over the original name of the school. Samuel M. Kennard Elementary School has been in the news recently, so I thought I would check it…

St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center

Designed by William Rumbold–who also aided in the design of the Old Courthouse–when St. Louis was still in St. Louis County, the giant edifice that was once called the Insane Asylum dominates the southwestern portion of the city, on the highest elevation. I love the front colonnade; its columns are far too large for the…

Cape Cod House Pockets, Kingshighway Southwest

I was surprised, while driving around in the area near the old St. Louis Insane Asylum to find large numbers of streets of houses that look like they date from the late 1940’s or even 50’s. It’s strange, since there are houses around the area that are much, much older, not to speak of the…

Oleatha Avenue

Sublette Avenue sweeps south down to Oleatha, where its broad boulevard heads east towards Kingshighway. It is truly a special stretch of St. Louis architecture. Dominated by what we call the Gingerbread Style, St. Louis’s own distinctive architectural style from the early Twentieth Century, each house is its own special work of art. You can…