Architecture | St. Louis Public Radio


Brett Loehmann, a graduate student in the Sam Fox Design and Visual Arts program at Washington University, photographs the Railway Exchange Building on Sept. 17, 2014.
Sid Hastings / Washington University Photos

A graduate architecture class wants to change the Railway Exchange Building.

The 1.2 million-square-foot, 100-year-old building at Locust and Sixth streets in downtown St. Louis was once home to the Famous-Barr flagship store and its parent company’s headquarters. It was converted to a Macy’s store in 2006, but that closed last year.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

If you go out looking for the 13th floor of a tall building in St. Louis, you may have a hard time finding it.

An informal survey by St. Louis Public Radio of 68 skyscrapers in the St. Louis area finds about 41 percent skip over 13 in counting their floors. Not surprisingly, most of them are hotels or residential properties where people pay to stay.

“A lot of clients do not like to have a 13th floor. They think that it is bad luck,” said Catalina Freixas, an architect and assistant professor of architecture at Washington University.

Michael Allen, Preservation Research Office

A part of downtown East St. Louis will likely be listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the end of September, and city officials hope that designation will spark revitalization.

The Downtown East St. Louis Historic District encompasses two blocks of Collinsville Avenue, a block and a half of Missouri Avenue and the south side of one block of St. Louis Avenue.

postcard for Fourneir exhibit at Maryville
May Gallery At Maryville University

It’s not as if everyone were oblivious to the architecture of the middle of the 20th century in St. Louis before current interest in it took hold. Prominent mid-century landmarks that are, or were, part of our regional consciousness: the Saarinen Arch, certainly; Samuel Marx’s Clayton Famous-Barr building on Forsyth Boulevard; the Teamster’s complex on Grand Boulevard, with the space-agey former Phillips 66 station enjoying new life as a Starbucks and Chipotle restaurant, and until recently, Edward Durell Stone’s mid-1960s Busch Stadium.

Provided by Gene Mackey III

Eugene Mackey III was a college sophomore in 1958, pursuing a degree in English at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn., when all of a sudden his architect father, the late Eugene J. Mackey Jr., asked him if he’d like to make a father-son six-weeks tour of Europe. The college boy said sure. Who wouldn’t?

Zoe Scharf / (Courtesy STL Design Week 2013)

From darts to bike tours to artwork made out of old books, STL Design Week 2013 is all about looking at and talking about design in new and interesting ways.

"This is the third year for Design Week, and Design Week was started by AIGA, which are graphic artists," said Margaret McDonald. "And this year it encompasses architects, illustrators, interior designers, industrial designers."

McDonald is chairperson for STL Design Week 2013, and a principal at architecture and interior design firm Arcturus.

L. John Schott
Beacon archive | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You know that house that has caught your eye as you drive down such streets as Southmoor or Lindell or Forsyth? One architectural firm helped define gracious living in the 1920s and '30s. The 150 houses designed by Maritz and Young largely still stand as examples of how one firm worked with clients to produce an array of styles that all had a solid gravitas.

(via Flickr/Reading Tom)

The St. Louis region is rich with architecturally significant and interesting structures and buildings.

There is a mix of traditional American, European and other foreign influences, side by side with a reflection of a more modern style.

The Gateway Arch often draws the most attention as the architectural focal point of St. Louis but many other structures such as the Wainwright Building, one of the world’s first skyscrapers built in 1892, and the Eads Bridge are significant.  Plus, many St. Louis’ neighborhoods are architecturally rich.

(via Flickr/ScottSpaeth)

The city of St. Louis will spend the next two years documenting and researching area buildings that went up during the post-World War II construction boom.

Michael Allen, Preservation Research Office


2011 was an excellent year for historic preservation in the region, and here are some of the reasons why.

Priory Chapel

Dec 17, 2010
HOK Priory Chapel
Remiss63 on

Photo by "Remiss 63" on

Join the St. Louis Public Radio Flickr group to see interesting photos from the St. Louis region and submit your own. Each week, we feature on our Web site one outstanding photo from the group.

Green in Benton Park

Sep 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 24, 2008 - When developer-contractor Patty Maher was picking out the flooring for a historic home she was rehabbing in the Benton Park neighborhood, she opted for oak from Missouri over bamboo from Asia.

Her reason was practical as well as philosophical. Maher, president of Tiger Lily Development and Clover Leaf General Contracting, wanted to garner points that would help get her project certified as green. “I got a point for using Missouri oak wood floors and not shipping in bamboo from Asia,” she said.

Green in Kimmswick

Sep 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 24, 2008 - Jill Crary has only praise for the green home at the edge of Kimmswick she’s living in. “It’s wonderful. I love it,” she said.

But it’s not hers to keep. Crary and her husband, Don, are guinea pigs of sorts. They are the first people to live in the Energy Star 5 Plus, LEED-Platinum certified house her father Jordan Heiman and his partner built to educate people about green homes.

Architect J. Robert Green tore down walls to open the space in his bungalow. The kitchen, in which he's standing, is filled with his artwork. The deck and landscaping in the back gives that area a modern feel.
Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 22, 2008 - About 20 years after he remodeled his childhood home in Brentwood, architect J. Robert Green still enthusiastically shows off the property he inherited. He enjoys having visitors pull up to his modest, one-story brick bungalow and seeing their expectations of a quaint interior shattered after stepping inside.