First Baptist Church, St. John

Rapid growth along the St. Charles Rock Road in the years after World War II translated into concurrent expansion of religious institutions along the corridor. First Baptist Church of St. John found its new church buildings too small for its congregation in the matter of years as the number of congregants grew. The Post-Dispatch reported…

Homer G. Phillips Grave, St. Peter’s Cemetery

I was recently giving a talk about the importance of African American lawyer and civil rights activist Homer G. Phillips, and it dawned on me that I didn’t know where he was buried. I’ve looked at the hospital that he was so instrumental in getting built before. I turns out he’s buried with his wife,…

Concrete Block Buildings on the Rock Road

Historically known as the “Block House,” this roadhouse at 8124 St. Charles Rock Road has long been a tavern or roadhouse on the main route between St. Louis and St. Charles. And boy, judging from old newspaper articles, it long had a history of suspended liquor licenses back in the day (disclaimer: in no way…

Suspicious Fires Week: The Old Bowling Ball Factory, Jennings

“Fire at an old bowling ball factory on Xograph Avenue in Jennings?” I knew when I heard about this strange occurrence, and how the St. Louis Fire Department had to join their colleagues in the County to help extinguish the flames on Thursday (which later reignited on Friday), I had to go check out this…

Elmwood Park

Very few people know it, but there is an African American community tucked away in unincorporated North County on either side of Dielman Road, just south of Page Avenue dating back to 1892, originally populated by former slaves. It is smaller than it once was, following hostile annexations by Olivette. Below is St. Luke’s A.M.E….

Wild Acres Park, Former Holy Family Seminary

The former Holy Family Seminary in Overland is now Wild Acres Park, but the buildings are still well-preserved and the grounds well-maintained. They have sort of a 1940s proto-Modernist interpretation of the Spanish Revival, which I sort of like. Like St. Stanislaus Seminary in the Florissant area, the decline in enrollment in seminaries resulted in…

Above Us Only Sky: Billboards Gone From Washington Park Cemetery

In late August I went out to Washington Park Cemetery to see how it looked after Drury Displays made the wise and compassionate decision to remove the two billboards from land it purchased from a former owner. I have a lot of respect for Drury and its beautiful renovations of historic buildings in St. Louis…

Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park? Wow, I missed that one, I said to myself last week, so I went and checked it out. It is one street, and one alley that goes behind houses that face the fairways of Glen Echo Country Club. It is truly a fascinating example of one of the smallest subdivisions-turned-towns in North…

Washington Park Cemetery

Update: The two billboards were removed by their owner in August of 2020. The City of Berkeley apparently never took over ownership of the property. I stopped by Washington Park Cemetery to check on how it was doing since the City of Berkeley took over custody of the historic African American burial ground. It had…

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Florissant

It’s a little difficult to photograph Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in the middle of downtown Florissant, but it is a fantastic example of Gothic Revival architecture, replacing the original church in 1893. Apparently the spire remains from the old church; the parish was founded for German speaking immigrants, despite the French heritage of Florissant,…