Architecture | St. Louis Public Radio

Architecture

Camp creator Michael Ford with a camper in May 2017.
The HipHop Architecture Camp

About 2 percent of architects in the U.S. are African-American. That’s a statistic Michael Ford wants to change by inspiring young people to think of new ways to solve urban development problems that segregate and marginalize low-income communities.

Ford wants to achieve this goal using  hip-hop music and culture. He created The Hip-Hop Architecture Camp in 2017.

Artists create work that explores the edges of St. Louis

Dec 1, 2017
People gather inside a giant inflatable bubble to listen to presentations about art
Provided by Gavin Kroeber

As the sun sets, several people circle around giant plastic disk laid out behind the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. The disk inflates and attendees are invited to walk back and forth as it grows into a massive bubble.

Adults giggle as performers run around the inflated orb before inviting people inside for an installment of “At the Edge of Everything Else,” a creative soiree hosted by artist and organizer Gavin Kroeber. It’s part of a project to highlight art rooted in the urban fabric of St. Louis.

A 100-foot sculpture  made from fibers and plastic sheets hangs from the ceiling at St. Louis Lambert International Airport over the heads of Southwest Airlines passengers waiting to pass through security.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Amid the hustle and bustle of morning rush at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, a man in a red baseball hat, blue sportswear shirt, and flip flops chats with a woman in jeans and T-shirt and an adolescent girl in tie-dye.

Much of their exchange is lost to the cacophony of people asking agents for directions, complaining to airport workers about the long security line and making bland observations about arrivals and departures. Yet one comment slips through the noise.

“Wow, it looks like a lake,” the man said, nodding up at the new sculpture hanging from the ceiling, before turning to head through the security checkpoint.

Marcia and Tim Dorsey's fully rehabbed 1850s stone house in Carondelet. Marcia lived in this house when she was a girl, but after it left her family's hands, the home fell into disrepair. In 2014, the Dorseys began the process of rehabilitating it.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Just east of Broadway in the Patch neighborhood of Carondelet stands a small, rough-cut stone house. The structure, over 160 years old, is set to receive a 'Most Enhanced' building award from the Landmarks Association of St. Louis this Thursday evening.

Dick Henmi is a noted St. Louis architect, best known for the so-called "flying saucer" building on Grand, but his journey to St. Louis started during a dark period of American history.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you don’t know Richard (Dick) Henmi by name, you definitely know one of his most iconic contributions to St. Louis’ architectural assembly: the so-called "flying saucer" building in Council Plaza off of Grand Boulevard. Henmi designed that building in 1967.

The St. Louis landscape was Eugene Mackey’s architectural canvas; his palette was integrity, artistic genius and spirituality.

“You work on a project until you find the soul of it,” his longtime friend, Van Brokaw, said he once told him. “Spirituality was an important underpinning in his life."

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Mr. Mackey infused more than 3,000 spaces with a spirit of humanity, inextricably interwoven with beauty and functionality. He died on Sunday (Nov. 27) of an aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 77 and had lived in Ladue.

The Isamu Noguchi ceiling, which had been hidden for years under a drop ceiling at the U-Haul building on Kingshighway, has finally emerged for all to see. Click through the slideshow to see more views of it.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A late autumn's promise has bloomed in the spring: a once-hidden architectural gem in St. Louis is open to the public at last.

U-Haul International Inc. has made good on its commitment to uncover and repair a sculptured ceiling created for the main lobby of its mid-20th century facility on South Kingshighway by the late American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi.

The Missouri Belting Company, considered one of the most endangered buildings in St. Louis by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.
Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1UcUB67

St. Louis is home to a vast array of architectural marvels. Whether you’re looking for art deco gems or modernist icons, you’ll find plenty of examples within city limits. But not all buildings are well preserved. What are the most endangered historical buildings in St. Louis? And what buildings are symbols of a preservation job well-done?

Book cover

Until now, all the rescued and restored Kraus House at 120 North Ballas Rd. in Ebsworth Park needed was a good book – a book about its place in the Frank Lloyd Wright catalog, a literary acclamation of its place in the history of American architecture, a hard-cover book with a sturdy sewn spine. Now, it has it.

The exterior of the U-Haul building on Kingshighway. Inset: A detail of Isamu Noguchi's sculptured ceiling.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

For two decades at least, exotic swirls of extraordinary biomorphic beauty hung in obscurity above the heads of the temporary truckers, the moving box buyers and the storage facility renters who came to do business at the U-Haul store on South Kingshighway and Northrup Avenue, just north of I-44.

Image courtesy of Kyrle Boldt III

Modern art, architecture and decorative arts created in the middle of the 20th century were swamped by the reactionary ruckus of the late 20th century post-modernist movement. 

Given the quality and originality of so much of the mid-century’s aesthetic industry, its relegation to obscurity was a big mistake and a now recognized lapse of taste. However, all wasn’t lost. A new exhibition opening this weekend at the St. Louis Art Museum joins other scholarship and exhibitions dedicated to setting the record straight.

Young students learn about design, architecture and working together at the Alberti Program.
Alberti Program blog

With middle age comes maturity and often maturity brings resources, making it possible to look around and discover how one can help out in the community. It’s wonderful when you land on something appropriate, something close to home, and something that just might make a difference in someone’s life. For the Mackey Mitchell Architecture firm, The Alberti Program-Architecture for Young People presented such a possibility.

Mackey Mitchell is almost a half-century old. The Alberti Program is almost 10 years old. Alberti is for children, and it is named for Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th century polymathic Florentine genius whose animated intelligence and aesthetic prowess seemed to know no boundaries.

From left to right, Andrew Weil, Lance LeComb, Bill Schnell, and David Lott.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The collapse of the 155-year-old Cutlery Factory building on Laclede’s Landing last week may have been a freak event, but along with the two-year closure forecast for rebuilding the Kingshighway bridge, it has raised legitimate questions about the sustainability and strength of St.

Paul Hohmann, Vanishing STL
Áine O'Connor

When driving through parts of St. Louis City, one cannot help but notice the plight of urban decay. Like many other major cities across the country, St. Louis has suffered from a declining population, fleeing middle-class and other signs of urban abandonment. Additionally, in the midst of the urban decay lies the disappearing architectural history of many deteriorating buildings in the city.

Architectural historian Lynn Josse tells a tour group about the history of the Laclede Power Plant built in 1901 on Saturday, June 6, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Register of Historic Places has four listings within the footprint of the proposed riverfront football stadium in St. Louis. A group of preservationists wants the NFL Stadium Task Force to take a second look at their plan to demolish the historic buildings that date back as far as the 1870s.

2 St. Louis buildings nominated to National Historic Register

Mar 24, 2015
The Shell Building
Chris Yunker | Flickr

The Shell Building downtown is defined by its curved walls and thickly spaced windows. Designer Jeremy Clagett says the architecture lightly mimics the shape of a shell pulled from the sea. He also said securing its preservation helps the city’s future as much as its past.

Paul Sableman | Flickr

A rare, mid-19th century, triangular type of house known as a "flounder" is the subject of a survey being conducted by the city of St. Louis.

New Exhibit: Nine Perspectives On The Buildings Of St. Louis

Feb 8, 2015
Image by Don McKenna
Courtesy of the International Photography Hall of Fame

A new exhibit at the International Photography Hall of Fame bridges the gap between personal perspective and the unfeeling materials of stone, brick and steel. According to Executive Director John Nagel, 72, this focus can be found in the exhibit’s unfamiliar images of a well-known city.

“This is not the greatest hits of St. Louis architecture,” he said.

Thomas Jefferson Statue in lobby of New Masonic Temple
Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

Owners of the New Masonic Temple on Lindell Boulevard in Midtown St. Louis hope the New Year brings renewed interest in the building, which is for sale. Building manager John Vollman has spent years volunteering at the space.

“It’s a pleasure to come in here most days. You just feel the history,” said Vollman.

Gustel R. Kiewitt
Provided by the family

After Kitty Mollman’s husband, Clay, died in the summer of 2012 after a long illness, she and her daughter, Melanie Mollman Hancock, decided it was high time to renovate their family’s home in Ladue. It needed fixing-up and painting-up; and some do-it-yourself remedies made along the way needed undoing.

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