6 Hidden Architectural Gems in St. Louis – The University News
While some keep babbling about the architecture of Chicago or New York, St. Louis has kept to itself the culturally rich stories our own buildings tell. From our beginnings as one of the first cities west of the Mississippi to our current expansion in 2019, these buildings show the uniqueness of what it means to be a St. Louisan. Here are six buildings to help you better understand the history and future of St. Louis and its people:
1) Wainwright State Office Building
As one of the first modern skyscrapers in the world, this downtown office building is very detail-oriented, with intricate designs on windows and throughout the interior. But on a larger scale, the building itself is evidence of the city’s strength, as its solid base and angular roof make it soaring almost into the sky.
2) Lafayette Square Homes
The streets of this National Historic District are lined with colorful Victorian mansions that are still in use today. These houses are some of the oldest in the city and the current owners have preserved them in their original splendor. Strolling through this neighborhood takes a step back in time as the houses known as “painted ladies” are built to reflect former American glory.
3) The old post
The old post office is a fine example of the architectural style of the French Second Empire with its strong facade and rectangular dome. It was designed in 1872. Although it is currently used as both a venue and law firm, the history of the old post office is intertwined with the history of St. Louis and the nation, as many famous court cases were held here. It’s one of the older buildings in the downtown area, but it does bear witness to the city’s more nuanced history.
4) Holy Corners Historic District
This little-known area is actually a great hub for religious worship. At the intersection of Kingshighway and Washington Avenues, just a few blocks from Saint Louis Cathedral, this area is home to the Temple of Israel, St. John’s Methodist Church, Second Baptist Church and the Tuscan Temple. All of these buildings have a unique style, but all serve as testimony to the American religion and how it is expressed in St. Louis.
5) City Hall
In a similar design to the Paris City Hall, this building tells the turbulent history of St. Louis. Designed by George Mann, it was never fully completed as many decorative aspects of the design are still missing today. Weathering over time and exposure to coal smoke have also turned the building a hazy black color. Even so, this has resulted in the building being uniquely beautiful, much like the inner workings of the city.
6) Hundreds of luxury apartments
When completed, the One Hundred Apartment Building will be the city’s most ambitious project. Studio Gang, a design firm that is making its debut in St. Louis with this development, is behind the design of the tallest building in the Central West End. One Hundred is a modern design style that will be inspired by nature, but will also be one of the more environmentally conscious and energy-friendly buildings in the city. It will open in the summer of 2020, ushering in a new era in St. Louis architecture.