“What was this magnificent building?” I wondered when I first spotted this edifice on the southern end of the Union row of buildings. Then I spotted it: two menorahs sculpted in terracotta above the front portal. Randy Vines informed me that this was the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, and its headquarters was here. The West End had a huge and proud Jewish population, and I have shown in the past how its congregations were spread throughout the area.
William Levy was a prominent Jewish American architect who designed the Beaux-Arts/Renaissance Revival masterpiece.
It is reminiscent of the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, and is also particularly shows the influence of Roman Renaissance palazzos, such as the Villa Borghese.
Tune in to 97.1 to hear me talk about St. Louis architecture and history with Pat McGonigle at 4:00 PM on December 23rd, this Wednesday.
2 Comments Add yours
So what does this building house now and who owns it?
According to the street sign in the last photo – the “West End Recreation Center,” but it is now operated by the “Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation Center” instead of the City (which may retain ownership of the property?).
While the Johnson Center apparently has no web site, there are “Google links” all over the place.