Historic Preservation

Bent or missing spear points are just a visible part of the problems with the fence around Lafayette Park.
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

The fence around Lafayette Park is an iconic symbol of the neighborhood: the fleur-de-lis of the spear points is in the Lafayette Square logo. Now part of that fence is on its way to Alabama.

Although the iron may appear sturdy, it is not.

"The only thing holding the fence together is the rust and the paint,” said Keith Houghton, an engineer who lives in the Lafayette Square neighborhood in south St. Louis. Bolts are missing; the fence sags or dips in places; some spear points are bent.

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.

Dutchtown South Block
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Two local neighborhoods — one affluent, one working class — and two local historic buildings are being considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

historic preservation, Landmarks Association of St. Louis
(courtesy of Landmarks Association of St. Louis)

The Cupples 7 building in downtown St. Louis was on the National Register of Historic Places, but that didn’t save it from the wrecking ball.

The nine-story building was torn down in 2013 after becoming so unstable the city considered it a public safety risk.

In the wake of the demolition, Landmarks Association of St. Louis decided it was time to create a low-interest loan program for historic preservation.

About 40 people rallied to save the former Incarnate Word convent on Sunday, April 19, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Advocates of preserving the former Incarnate Word convent continue to call on the University of Missouri-St. Louis to reverse its decision to demolish the building.

Built in 1922 to house the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, the university acquired the convent 20 years ago. It's located in the Village of Ben-Nor, south of the UMSL campus, across the street from the Normandie Golf Course.

About 40 people gathered on the steps of the convent Sunday to protest its upcoming demolition.

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.

The ruin of the Becker Anthes house has presented a challenge that would-be restorationists have not yet met
Lisa LaRose

As a family, we have a passion for history. We like to drive through the old neighborhoods of St. Louis, our son navigating on Google Earth on the iPad, and we gaze upon hidden jewels. The brick is lustrous, and the architecture gives this city its soul.

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.

Professor Lerone Martin holds recording of Rev. J.M. Gates
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The term "televangelist” was coined in a 1975 TIME magazine article to describe a practice now familiar to many Americans. Lerone Martin said that practice may stem from sermons recorded in the mid 1920s. Martin wants people to imagine a recording session with Louis Armstrong and his musicians in New York’s Columbia Records studios as one of the first bridges established between religion and mass media.

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.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The century-old Goldenrod Showboat is still in limbo, waiting along an empty stretch of the Illinois River like a forgotten star from yesteryear yearning for one more curtain call.

The Goldenrod is moored out of sight -- hidden by weeds and brush in a remote spot along Highway 100, north of Kampsville, Ill. But she’s not been forgotten. A small band of diehard fans say they are determined to rescue and return the vessel to the St. Louis riverfront where she spent half her life.

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.

old Millstadt Water Tower
Frank Butterfield, Landmarks Illinois

Three southern Illinois structures are among those identified as endangered by Landmarks Illinois. This year’s list includes the Hamilton Primary School in Otterville (Jersey County); Hotel Belleville, which last was used as a retirement home by the Belleville diocese; and the Old Millstadt Water Tower.

Provided by Modern STL

The potential of a merger between the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County has prompted lots of talk about differences and similarities between the two.

Here’s just one example. Both have public library systems. Each has a very different philosophy when it comes to balancing upgrades and improvements of their buildings with historic preservation.

The Palladium Building today
Preservation Research Office

There have been rumors for a couple of years now that the Veterans Administration is interested in obtaining the Palladium building at 3618 Enright in order to expand the John Cochran VA Medical Center. For years, the Palladium was home to The Plantation Club.

In a commentary published by St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon, Pokey LaFarge called for the preservation of the building where jazz greats performed for decades.

Preservation Research Office

The Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has nominated 12 sites across the state to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Three of the 12 sites are in St. Louis, including one that's relatively young – the glass-walled Hamiltonian Federal Savings and Loan Association building, which was built in 1961 and has been vacant for nearly a decade.  Michael Allen with the St. Louis-based Preservation Research Office made the pitch for the Hamiltonian building.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

There’s now another hole in the urban fabric of downtown St. Louis. Piles of rubble are all that remains at the corner of 11th and Spruce streets, where the Cupples 7 building once stood.

The 113-year-old brick warehouse was part of the Cupples Station Historic District, a massive complex of 20 buildings that served as the logistics hub for the city in the early 20th century. Today, just eight remain.   

When the Goldenrod was moored at St. Charles
Historic Riverboat Preservation Association / Goldenrod Showboat

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The Goldenrod Showboat, a historic vessel that delivered lively theater and music to Midwestern river towns in the early 20th century, now waits at an Illinois river bank for salvation -- or the salvage yard.

Though the clock is ticking, a small nonprofit group has renewed efforts to save the grand old vessel and return it to the St. Louis riverfront.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Former state Sen. Jason Crowell, a Cape Girardeau Republican, was -- and still is -- one of the sharpest critics of the state's historic preservation tax credit program. In 2011, he compared the program to when his parents gave him a credit card "only for emergencies."

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