Stroll Through Yesterday’s St. Louis Today: “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis” | Features
Unfortunately, Compton and Drys armored Proto-Wunnenberg as a commercial enterprise. “The huge price tag of $ 25 (more than $ 500 today) was out of reach for most people,” said an exhibition panel.
“Pictorial St. Louis stretches for nearly 10 miles of riverside, from Gasconade Street in the south to Bellefontaine Cemetery in the north, and extends west to cover more than 40 square miles of land,” read another plaque . “Sew the 110 panels of Pictorial St. Louis together and you have a vision of the city stretching 24 feet wide.”
“A Walk in 1875 St. Louis” enlarges the panels to the size of standard cinema screens and offers nine views labeled Fair Ground, Forest Park, Lafayette Square, Lucas Place, Midtown, Old North, Riverside, Soulard, and Tower Grove .
A 10th and final view, showing the whole Schebang, is waiting at the back of the gallery.
This view, and the exhibition in general, might surprise visitors when they analyze how much has changed over the years and decades. For example, neither the hill nor the ville existed in 1875, and the Old Post Office, explains a helpful note, was barely qualified as new itself, and it took nearly another decade to be completed in 1884.
The breathtaking scope of the exhibition surprised even the museum’s staff, admits Palmer, who played no role in the long-term conception of “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis”.
“The first time I went through it,” he recalls, “I was actually surprised at how big it was. But (his in-house designers) probably knew to the nearest inch how big it was going to get. “