Circle April 7 on your calendar for a chance to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright’s connections to St. Louis. Did you know that “Sixty years before the construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park (The Kraus House), Wright assisted Louis Sullivan in designing such iconic 1890s skyscrapers as the Wainwright Building and Union Trust in downtown St. Louis.”
That information comes from the press release announcing the annual Frank Lloyd Wright House lecture. Tim Samuelson, who is the cultural historian for Chicago and an expert on Midwestern architecture, will give the address at 3 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium of the Missouri History Museum.
The event is free.
Information about The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park can be found atwww.ebsworthpark.org. Tours are by appointment by calling 314-822-8359.
I am ready for a fun weekend full of culture. Tonight I am taking my mother to see Carmina Burana at the Touhill Center.....I have always wanted to see this performed. Orff's pieces from Carmina Burana are always used to movie where they need a demonic chant....I think they used it in the Omen every time Damian was going to do something bad.
Sunday I am going to see The Book of Mormon at The Fox.
I should sneak in a trip to the Art Museum inbetween or the Missouri Botanical Garden... a walk through the Climatron this time of year always cleans out my nasal passages.
Check out and "like" STL250th Facebook page. St. Louis will be celebrating our 250th birthday in 2014. The Facebook page will keep you up-to-date on the plans and daily posts about our rich history.
My sons were still in California yesterday so I we are going to celebrate Father's day today. Last night I went to dinner with some friends at Katie's Pizzeria and then we went to the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. You have to see it! & at night when it is lite up! The exhibit runs through August 19th. You will be surprised by how large the exhibit is that is placed throughout the Garden.
And now for some Hipsomatic ap pics!
Located on Sublette near Arsenal are two historic structures. They close to the St. Louis Lunatic Asylum that I talked about recently. Lovely structures! A columbarium is a place to hold urns with ashes....I had to look up this one.
(Update: there is actually a book about these buildings. Find out more HERE.)
For years St.Louisans have used an off-colored joke that when someone is acting a little strange...."It is time to take you to Arsenal". Below is an portion of the article from HERE that talks about this lovely and historic building in more detail.
On April 23, 1869, St. Louis County Lunatic Asylum opened its doors to 150 mentally ill people. Work began in August 1864. Designed and built by architect William Rumbold, it is the second governmental facility in the state to serve this population. Rumbold's vision was to recall Imperial Rome, resulting in the cast-iron-dome and plans that called for fine imported marble pillars for the front portico.
Rumbold's cast-iron-structured dome on the old St. Louis County Lunatic Asylum, now called St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center has dominated the landscape of south St. Louis for over a century. In the beginning, it was generally held to be magnificent after which the fashion for ornamental extravagance faded and it came to be considered everything from monstrous to quaint. Now, however, it has regained a place of architectural importance, not so much by being beautiful, as by being old. It is also one of a unique matched pair in St. Louis; the other being Rumbold's dome over the old Court House at Fourth and Market Streets. The dome is even a sort of skeleton cousin to what is probably the most widely recognized dome in the world; the one surmounting the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Rumbold may not have been the prime architect for the great dome in Washington, but he was an honored consultant at least.
The Mesker Brothers were based in St. Louis and manufactured iron storefronts for buildings across the nation. They did most of the iron storefronts that you see on Laclede's Landing. Today I was driving through Eolia, MO in Pike County and stopped by a store. I noticed that this storefront was also built by Mesker Brothers.
Below is from the Illinois Historic Preservation Committee:
Many Main Street commercial buildings of the late 1800s and early 1900s reflect the widespread availability of mass-produced building parts, which ranged from individual components to entire building facades. While prefabricated architectural elements were available from a number of manufacturers, no other companies better exemplify this niche than the Mesker Brothers Iron Works of St. Louis, Missouri, and George L. Mesker Company of Evansville, Indiana. They specialized in ornamental sheet-metal facades and cast iron storefront components, which were ordered through catalogs and easily shipped by rail to any interested building owner. Their extensive product lines not only featured embossed sheet-metal panels and cast iron but also entire storefront assemblies, as well as tin ceilings, fences, skylights, and freight elevators.
“Meskers”, as they are called, are found across America. However, because the companies were based in the Midwest, they are particularly plentiful in Illinois and are part of the state’s rich architectural history. Made of galvanized steel and cast iron, these durable facades often survive, despite the occasional neglect and lack of maintenance. While not all buildings may feature elaborate sheet metal facades, individual building components, such as cornices and window hoods, are quite common throughout the state, especially in smaller communities. If your town has a Mesker facade, we would like to know about it. The goal of our ever-expanding Illinois database (PDF file) and this website is to recognize the historic significance of the Mesker companies in the shaping of our downtowns’ architectural fabric.
I have joined the committee to plan St. Louis's 250th Anniversary which is in 2014! Many special events, programs and exhibits are planned to celebrate this milestone. I am related to our city founders, Madame Chouteau and Pierre Laclede, on both my mother and father's side. We come from the illegitimate lines....Madame Chouteau and Pierre Laclede were never married. There are some descendants from Madame Chouteau's original union who are legitimate, though from her abusive husband. I think I like the ideal of being from her true and lasting love...Laclede. Her life would be a great movie. Meryl Streep as Madame Chouteau and Daniel Day Lewis as the French Fur Trapper- Laclede...maybe her mean husband, René Auguste Chouteau, could be played by Steve Buscemi. I will keep you updated as the committee moves along...2014 will be here before you know it!
Read the entire article HERE.
There is a lot of optimism in the real estate market for 2011. Prices have come down and interest rates continue to be low...making it a very attractive market for Buyers.
2010 Real Estate sales volume was mixed in the St. Louis area. Here are some statistics concerning sales volume:
Ladue, Clayton, Parkway Central and Webster Groves experienced an increase in number of homes/condos sold in 2010
Area 2010 2009
Ladue 331 321
Clayton 192 178
Webster 490 487
Parkway Central 327 318
University City, Brentwood, Richmond Heights/Maplewood and Kirkwood were down a little
Area 2010 2009
U City 358 388
Brentwood 156 172
RH/Maplewood 158 181
Kirkwood 528 598
St. Louis City was down
Area 2010 2009
Downtown 83 99
Central East 450 613
South 1600 1995
Central West 370 487
The economy and confidence in St. Louis must be picking up a little. Although we have a couple weeks left in this year, I took a peak at some statistics. Houses/condos that sold for more than $1,000,000 are 128 properties so far in 2010 compared to 119 in 2009. After the close of the year I will look at some of the areas of St. Louis in total sales...not just the moneyed buyers. Below are some of the significant sales this year:
2021 S. Warson with 10 acres in Ladue for $7,970,000
6 Denny Lane, Ladue $2,300,000
9 E. Brentmoor Park, Clayton $2,050,000
41 Glen Eagles, Ladue, St. Louis Country Club Grounds $2,050,000
23 Countryside Lane, Frontenac $2,120,000
6 Denny Lane, Huntleigh $2,300,000
Park Plaza, CWE
Look at these sales!: $2,391,868...$2,821,886....$3,127,197....$3,154,665....$3,841,952
And one of my sales! 7200 Wydown Blvd, Clayton $1.430,000
Wintermarkt, now in its 10th year!
Come celebrate the 10th anniversary of a unique neighborhood event — the reimagining of a traditional German festival called Christkindlmarkt. It takes place on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the charming city neighborhood of Skinker-DeBaliviere, just north of Forest Park.
Visitors will be able to take a tour of the 100-year-old neighborhood in a horse-drawn carriage (cost $5) and watch demonstrations by a local blacksmith. Among the other attractions are food stalls, a music stage and booths selling handmade goods made by local artisans.
“There are no two booths that are alike,” says Andy Cross, one of the organizers of the event. The event is ideal for those looking for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, and it is a welcome alternative to the mall, Cross adds. Visitors can expect to find vendors selling jewelry, photographs, candles, Christmas ornaments and locally produced honey. About half the vendors are from within the neighborhood.
A variety of musical groups will perform, as well, every half hour from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They include the Washington University a cappella group The Pikers, the bell choir of St. Roch’s School, accordionist Charlie Block and folk musicians Ian and Mary Walsh.
To keep visitors warm on what could be a very cold day, there will be soup, roasted chestnuts, barbeque, glühwein (mulled wine) and hot apple cider. The event takes place at Greg Freeman Park at the corner of Kingsbury and Des Peres avenues. The event will take place whatever the weather conditions. Wintermarkt is presented by the West End Arts Council, which is affiliated with the Skinker-DeBaliviere Community Council
"The Grove" located along Manchester between Vandeventer and Taylor Avenues now has a sign marking its Eastern edge. Last night I noticed that it was lit up for the first time. "The Grove" has many venues for everyone to enjoy. Everest Cafe located at 4145 Manchester is an unassuming place that has fantastic Nepalese, Korean and Indian cuisine. Atomic Cowboy is a fun, smoke-free bar/restaurant/nightclub. You need to go to one of their burlesque shows and dine on some of their yummy food. I love the french fries and sliders.... I also enjoy their pulled-pork burrito. Sanctuaria is also a cool/new restaurant in this area. It is sort of a Mexican tapas place. (So much for my career being a food/restaurant writer.) The area is also teaming with bars/nightclubs catering to the LGBT community.
Okay I have to run and peal potatoes and parsley roots for my Thanksgiving dish. Happy Thanksgiving!
For years I have thought that the grain elevators along Highway 40/64 in the CWE were an eye-sore. They made us look like a "cow-town". I now think it would be a shame to tear down this piece of our landscape. The other day I walked up to them and was surprised that they are still in use. They are interesting and mammoth. You can see them from many parts of the city. I have a really cool idea that I am going to pursue....come back tomorrow and I will share it with you!
Today the Butterflies for the Wings of Hope Project were on display in Forest Park at the Spanish Pavilion. This was a special, one-day preview until they emerge in the Spring. The Butterflies will be placed throughout the city.
Wings is the BJC Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care program. It is a non-profit organization that provides clinical, emotional and spiritual support to children who have progressive, life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses, regardless of their ability to pay.
(Famed artist, Charlie Houska, was on the scene next to his Butterfly)
You may be asking yourself...what is up with all of the ladders on Delmar?"This is "Transcend2010," a conceptual public art project. It's intended to be temporary; most of the components are borrowed. By strapping the ladders together and taking them up the rise, the intention is to show how we depend on one another to overcome adversity." St. Louis Post Dispatch Read the whole story HERE.
The Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis Voting is taking place now. St. Louis Style has never made the cut. I chalk it up to some people think of my blog as St. Louis Style and some www.tedwight.com. I probably lose half of my votes in the confusion....I could also be a little delusional. This year if you choose to vote for St. Louis Style, just enter St. Louis Style and not www.tedwight.com. Click HERE to begin voting!
Bettye LaVetteRoy Kasten- RFT
"Great singers in jazz, blues and soul have regularly taken on the Great American Songbook — but then again, so has Rod Stewart. So forgive Bettye LaVette, the most devastatingly emotional singer on the planet, if she bypasses that hallowed ritual and stalks the British Rock Songbook on her latest album. Do you really want to hear LaVette, whose career has gone stratospheric after decades of industry neglect, tackle the hits of Led Zeppelin, Ringo Starr, the Stones and Pink Floyd? Yes, you do, if you still care about the pure power of interpretive singing too muscular and self-possessed for genre distinctions, the undiluted vocal force of a woman who approaches some classic rock songs like a struggle with cosmic forces — and body slams them all.— Roy Kasten"
9 p.m. Friday, August 6. The Old Rock House, 1200 South Seventh Street. 21-plus: $32.50. 314-588-0505.
The yummiest find recently has been Wei Hong Bakery on Olive in University City. It is located in a storefront next to the Wei Hong Restaurant....formerly the Fine Arts Theater (It was XXX). They have these buns that are stuffed with BBQ Pork, Ham & Egg, Bacon & Onion, Hot dogs and much more! They are perfect to cut in two and serve at a party. (Located at 7740 Olive Blvd.....they also have a location at 3175 S. Grand)
Grand Center is about to get much grander! This Fall the Grand Center Arts Academy will be opening its doors. The Academy is a Charter School and will begin with 225 students in the sixth and seventh grades. Every year another grade will be added through Senior year. Eventually the student population will be 750. Could you imagine anything better than being artistically oriented and being able to go to school right in the middle of where art is happening?
Now the even more exciting news...the Carter Carburetor Building on Grand across from Powell Hall is being renovated to accommodate the school in addition to the parking garage in back. Eventual plans include renovating the Sun Theater to be part of the school! Yea! This year the academy will be located in the 3rd Baptist Church until the renovation is complete.
Check out the pictures of the buildings in the slide show. The top floor is the old Knights of Pythias meeting area.