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…

South Riverfront, Revisited Again Late August 2019

The railroad tracks that snake around the South Riverfront are still used, but they seem more quiet than they used to be over a century ago. I was down this way back in 2017. The views of downtown are vast from down south, and it’s hard to believe that this was once a large residential…

Eads Bridge, September 2018

The water in the Mississippi River was high when I took this picture, and the parking lot on the Levee was completely submerged.

Riverboat, Docked on the Levee

You don’t see this much any more down on the Levee. It’s neat to see, but the ranks of riverboats once seen along here will never happen again.

Family Photos

I found some old pictures my family took from the Arch back in 1986-7; in the upper left, you can see the Cupples Warehouses sitting vacant. The first Kiener Plaza, now demolished, was just starting construction. The ash trees are now gone, but they were relatively young thirty years ago. Below, the Metropolitan Square Building…

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…

The Riverfront, Desolation

With the recent removal and dismantlement of the Admiral, the riverfront has lost one of the last (if not particularly healthy) beacons of activity on what was once a bustling wharf. When I first moved to St. Louis, there were at least three more riverboats on the levee: the Robert E. Lee, the McDonalds, and…