More Factories and Warehouses, Up North

I’m intrigued by the early Twentieth factories up north in the so-called “Mark Twain/I-70 Industrial” neighborhood, as the City of St. Louis officially calls this area. All of the cool factories down along the riverfront, and the historic breweries, get lots of attention, and deservedly so, but I would like to bring more attention to…

The Old Bridge and Beach Factory

I photographed the Hudson Bridge grave at Bellefontaine Cemetery a while back. It turns out his company’s factory, which moved out to the northwest side of the city in 1921, in still standing. The company made stoves, cake tins and even muffin tins. They also made waffle irons. Of course, these were the types of items…

Remnants, The Old Army Munitions Plant

I am fairly certain that this forlorn abandoned factory building along the north side of Stratford Avenue is the remnant of the massive army munitions plant that manufactured arms during World War II. It featured a gigantic vaulted steel building that looked like it had horns sticking out of its roof. Built St. Louis has…

Planned Industrial Drive

For the most part, I’m proud of St. Louis. But occasionally, I see something that just makes me simultaneously laugh out loud and shake my head. “Planned Industrial Drive?!” Do you think that maybe city planners and leaders didn’t get around to naming this drive? This was obviously part of a larger industrial park plan…

Former Quarry, Back from the Dead, Penrose

Oops, someone didn’t fill in the old Union Quarry well enough and the houses have all settled! And now they’re being torn down one at a time. Essex Court, as it was called, was a common occurrence after the quarries were closed after World War II. Unfortunately, they’re now collapsing. Here you can see it…

Penrose, Revisited

Tucked away in between I-70 and Natural Bridge Avenue, the Penrose neighborhood seems both isolated and heavily populated at the same time. Yes, there is abandonment, but along the strangely narrow streets, there is a lot of life. There are no major institutions per se, so it is a place probably not familiar to most…

Carousel Motel

Years ago, I asked some of my students who live in North St. Louis about that intriguing Modernist hotel on Kingshighway just north of Natural Bridge Avenue. In response, one of my students replied, “That’s not a hotel, that’s a motel; that place is so sleazy they charge by the minute, not by the hour.”

Ashland School

Update: I went back and revisited the school in January of 2021. Built in 1909 according to plans by William Ittner, the Ashland School is still occupied, which is a pleasant surprise when so many are going empty.

Penrose and Fairgrounds, Tucked Up By the Interstate

Update: I revisited the area in the late summer of 2021 around North Newstead Avenue. Tucked up in the bend of I-70 that now leaves most of its streets truncated to the north, I found the most interesting, quiet part of the Northside. The area still has a fair amount of wood frame houses, indicating…