Southern Funeral Home For Sale

S. Grand & Iron
South St. Louis, MO

The palatial hacienda-style funeral home with “that sign” is now for sale.

This building is absolutely gorgeous, in whole and for its details. The funeral home (read its history here) started in 1908, and they moved into this building in 1929, which was built for them, and is supposedly the first St. Louis structure made expressly for a funeral home.

I’ve always been fond of the mid-century rear addition, loving the juxtaposition between eras. Plus, how can you not love the reiteration of their logo in giant, 3-D (below)?

Take a look at the real estate listing. They’re asking only $375,000 for this massive building, which also includes 2 apartments. I ran into the family that were living in the place until recently, when they had to find a new place to live because the place is for sale. There was a language barrier preventing me from getting any details from them, because I wanted to ask the little boy just how was it living in a funeral parlor. Seems like something a kid would dig, right?

Take a close look at the photos on the property listing. There’s a beautiful chapel inside with a stage and seating for more than 200 people. It’s in a commercial district and has tons of parking.

This building is crying out to be a concert club. Think about it: music and food, the owner can live above the business. Because it’s by Carondelet Park, it’s easy to get to from Hwy 55.
So, do we yet have anyone inspired to do something with this fabulous place?

The U.S. Census & St. Louis’ Over 50 Housing Stock

American housing statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau are making the media rounds, and the media has already begun taking a negative slant. Take a look at the coverage by the city with the most housing stock over 50 years old, Buffalo, New York. They lead off by slamming New Orleans for the highest vacancy rate.

At least the St. Louis Business Journal’s headline about the statistics focuses on St. Louis. We have the 2nd highest vacancy rate. Here’s their article.  Here’s some St. Louis housing stock stats they break down for easier consumption:

  • Housing units 180,490
  • Occupied units 143,045
  • Seasonal units/units that are not occupied but have been sold or rented 2,514
  • Vacant units 34,931
  • Vacancy rate 19.35%
  • Units built since 2005 1,706
  • Share of units built in past five years 0.95%
  • Units built before 1960 145,264
  • Share of units built more than 50 years ago 80.48%
  • Median year of construction for existing units 1939
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units $119,900
  • As I hunker down in my home built in the median year of 1939 (another useful stat), I’m afraid to read any other local media outlet’s take on this news, because it will surely be negative – that’s what the media (and reader comments) excels at.  Words have power, and going for the negative spin only holds a benefit for those hell bent on tearing down rather than building up. As these new stats make the media rounds over the next few days, I ask you to consider a positive take on every negative you hear.

    For examples of positive spin, let’s look at a stat like 80.48% of our homes are over 50 years old:
    • Ask most any carpenter or architect and they will tell you you’re better off in a home over 50 because they were built to last.
    • St. Louis is the 3rd most sustainable city in America because of its older housing stock.
    • People move to out city because of the deep and vast character of our original housing stock.
    • St. Louis is proud to have so much of its heritage to show off.

    You get the point.
    Perception becomes reality, the power of positive thinking is that it brings positive results.  Your response to the following declaration will reveal if you’re part of the problem or the solution:

    St. Louis is such an affordable, historic, well-built and handsome city that the vacancy rate is a temporary set back.

    Louis Sullivan’s Lions

    705 Olive Street
    Downtown St. Louis, MO

    St. Louis has an 1893 Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler building on the National Register, the Wainwright Building, which ranks as either the first or second (depending on whose counting) skyscraper built. Not as well known (even to my Architectural History & Theory teacher in college!) is that we have a second Sullivan & Adler building that survives to this day. On the northwest corner of 7th & Olive is the building which was designed as the Union Trust Building. Starting in 1902 it began a series of name changes: St. Louis Union Trust, Missouri Trust, Central National Bank, Lincoln Trust, and finally, to the name on its National Historic Landmark plaque, The 705 Building.

    It also went through some serious remodeling, including a 1905 addition by Eames & Young on the north end of the building. But the most heinous crime was a 1924 remuddle which scrapped off the exterior of the first two floors. Here’s what it looked like from 1893 to about 1923.

    Aside from the circular windows that still survive on the alley side of the building, the upper 13 stories have remained intact, including the lions shown above.

    Typically, I dislike parking garages. But when the roof of a parking garage puts me this close to my beloved lions, then I really dig this parking garage, and don’t mind having had to pay $5 to use it!

    To the right in the above photo is the Railway Exchange building, where I worked for Famous Barr advertising for 13.5 years. For half that time, we were on the 8th floor, and the Advertising President’s office looked down on these two lions. The the fool sat with his back to them!

    When he was out, I’d sneak into his office to gaze lovingly at them; they were both inspirational and a sedative for deadline stress. They also got me in trouble when I was caught hanging out the President’s window with a camera, trying to get a shot without a dirty window between me and the lions.

    And now 10 years later, a parking garage that I was forced to use on a Sunday afternoon has given me the closest, clearest access to all the lions. It was the best kind of September Sunday St. Louis Serendipity!

    South Side City Block For Sale

    Gravois Avenue & Meramec Street
    South St. Louis, MO

    This is a rather rundown intersection in the Bevo Mill neighborhood, but if you look through the grime, there’s some interesting visual history of when St. Louis (like other Rust Belt cities) actually produced goods, and those industries dictated the transportation, housing and society of the neighborhoods they resided in.

    While stuck at this stop light contemplating these fanciful thoughts, I noticed the two buildings above had Hiliker For Sale signs.  The building on the left is a 2-family flat from 1915, and next door is a 4-family from 1915.

    And the one-story industrial building next to it, from 1918, is also for sale by the same company.

    Even around the corner, on Meramec, the 4-family from 1915 is also for sale.

    Which means the entire block bound by pink in the above aerial map (courtesy of is for sale by the same agent, though info about these buildings are not on the Hiliker site.   Included in this full city block is the jewel of the lot…

    …the 9-story-total factory from 1928 which was formerly the Graham Paper Company. It sits majestically at the top of the viaduct, and in the late 20th century it served as a storage warehouse.  I remember idle talk in the early 20s of it becoming loft apartments, but obviously that never happened.

    All of these properties currently for sale are listed in city records as being owned by 4230 Gravois LLC, c/o Imagine Schools, which begs the question: did this organization buy all these properties with the intent of creating a campus, then changed their mind?

    The Graham Paper Company building is a gorgeous example of dignified industry, which was par for the course for the 19th-into-20th century, and I admire how they tucked this large complex into a block already populated with multi-family housing.

    What will become of this block? Must the buildings be purchased as a whole, or will “the whole” turn off any but the deepest pockets? It’s easy (but not desirable) for potential developers to dismiss the residential and remuddled one-story warehouse as demolition fodder, but the Graham complex cannot be denied.  It’s a strange and intriguing plot of land, and the possibilities for a new use are plentiful…and worrisome.

    If anyone has information on what’s happening with this block (including – and most especially – history of Graham Paper Company), please do share.

    Today’s the Day we Save the San Luis


    Today is when the Preservation Board reviews the proposal to demolish the San Luis.

    Today is the day you can show up to persuade the Board to deny this permit.

    It is especially important that we turn up in large numbers, because in some political corners they consider the permit a done deal.

    If you’re tired of Old Boys Network politics as usual, please come and support this effort.  The Board will make its decision ON this night, so if you want to immediately know the fate of the San Luis, come to:

    1015 Locust Street, Suite 1200
    Downtown St. Louis, 63101
    4 PM – ?

    For all the latest information, visit No Parking Lot On Lindell.

    The Coca-Cola Syrup Plant

    Michigan & Davis intersection, Carondelet Neighborhood
    South St. Louis, MO
    They applied for a National Register listing for this industrial complex, and it was added to the list in April 2008. Two months later, plans were announced to convert the former Coca-Cola syrup plant into 78 apartments and commercial space. Bravo!

    As arresting and evocative as the 1920’s portion of the plant is, I also love the down-scale, no-nonsense metal sheeting updates on the north side of the complex. This portion appears to belong to International Foods’ Dairy House, so naturally, it still requires high fructose and oil receiving receptacles. Note the “rust” stains down the left side of the left-hand depository, and think about what that stuff does to your innards.

    If this portion of the complex is indeed part of the renovation plans, I look forward to seeing what’s under all the metal, though I will miss its minimalist cubism glory as reflected on a perfect summer morning.

    Garavaglias’ of the South Side

    Intersection of Lafayette & Nebraska Avenues
    South St. Louis City, MO
    The building above, with its distinctive corner turret and vintage signage, is always a welcome sight. I mentally refer to it as the Garavaglia Quality Foods Building. Considering all the activity going on in the immediate area, maybe it’s just a matter of moments until this building comes back to life?

    Near the intersection of Loughborough Avenue & Morganford Road
    South St. Louis City, MO
    I pass this tavern on most every work day. It’s such an essential part of the fabric of this part of town that it’s easy to overlook it. And only a few weeks ago did I finally SEE its signage: Garavaglia’s Hill Top Inn. As in the same Garavaglia’s Quality Foods Market? That’s not a real common last name, and how did I overlook this possible connection for so long?

    The Quality Foods building was built in 1895. City directories list Pundt Brothers Grocery in the space from 1912 to 1946. From 1947 till the very early 1950s, it was the grocery store of Eugene Wessbecher. Around 1952, Charles J. Garavaglia came into the picture, with a name change to Quality Foods in 1963. Records show the corner market stayed in business until 1989, so is that when the building was shuttered?

    The building is still owned by Garavaglia Quality Foods, LLC, and oddest of all, they are listed in numerous on-line St. Louis catering lists. Meaning, some unknowing South Side bride will find this place listed as a viable provider of mostacholi, call the number and get the “no longer in service” message. How does a place that closed in 1989 still have such deep internet saturation?

    As for the Hill Top Inn, the building first appeared in 1924, and by 1933 it was billed as Gockel Groceries. The service station seen to the left in the above photo was also there, belonging to George Schwartz, who just so happened to live next door to Goeckel Grocery, at 6904 Morganford (it is now the vacant spot between the tavern and the other house seen in the 2nd photo, above).

    In 1942, Joseph J. Garavaglia owned the building, and turned it into a liquor store. In 1947, Julia Garavaglia took it over, and by 1968 she changed the name to what we still call it to this day. At this time she also moved into the now-absent house next door (presumably after Mr. Schwartz moved out, but ya never know).

    While doing all this research, I ran across a Garavaglia Market that operated in Dogtown from 1930 – 1950, but then realized that all of these joints never had any owner names in common. Wondering just how common a surname it is, the White Pages reveals a full half-column of Garavaglias, so it’s not a rare name, obviously. It’s merely that a heaping handful of people with this name have been/are connected with food and liquor concerns in South St. Louis, and they have given us some delightful signage and good times. I salute all the Garavaglias!

    An Editorial Cartoon

    This cartoon appears in today’s print issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I completely overlooked the gist of it because of the line of buildings depicted on the right side of the drawing.

    The intersection shown is Olive and 7th Street. From the far right edge of the drawing and heading back into the distance there is:
    1. Famous-Barr (now Macy’s) building
    2. The Sullivan-Adler building at 705 Olive, with the original facade on its first 2 floors
    3. The Chemical Building (soon to be… whatever useless name they’ve given it)
    4. The Old Post Office

    The buildings shown in the left side foreground are long gone, replaced by a parking garage.

    I got all excited about the above, and then got around to the humorous, editorial point of it all. Which proves, conclusively, what a building geek I am.

    I’m OK with that… I think.

    Overland, MO Mid-Century Modern

    Lately, Overland is notorious as the township with the deluded, egoistic mayor who refuses to relinquish the burning castle. Aside from City Hall ineptitudes that have inspired so many of its citizens to blog, Overland is a nice town; completely suburban, yet old enough to have been formed to urban standards. There is a formal downtown nucleus that spreads out into little tract homes, and at Christmas the main drags are festooned with the exact same lighted decorations decade after decade. Overland retains so much of its original fabric that it often feels like touring a museum of post-World War 2 Baby Boom suburban expansion. Yet the place is alive, feisty and curious in a low-key manner, which keeps it off the hipsters and aggressive developers radars.

    These photos are a fair sampling of the commercial buildings along Lackland Road, right in the immediate vicinity of Skeeter’s Frozen Custard. Generally, they were all built between the end of World War 2 and 1955.

    This particular building has changed hands many times (it was an upholstery shop for the longest time), with each new owner never feeling the need to radically alter its appearance. And I’ve noticed that about this entire stretch of road: the commercial buildings don’t stay vacant for very long and they seldom get radically remodeled. Some may say that a lack of apparent progress is the sign of a stagnant city, but I see Overland’s constant, gentle ripples as a city finely balanced.

    One of my favorite examples of Overland being satisfied with its resources is the above service station. Walking onto the parking lot is like swooshing back in time, with that time being kept by the very same clock that’s graced the building since it went up in 1954.

    The only major change the decades have wrought is the removal of the gas pumps. Other than that, it’s business as usual, utterly neat and tidy and friendly.

    What year was this photo taken? The only thing that betrays 21st century is a package of blue M&Ms and Skittles in what is most likely the exact same vending machine the original owners plopped into that office 53 years ago.

    Heading east on Lackland and crossing over Woodson Road (the city’s main drag), one can see the most curious of buildings. Some portion of the Knights of Columbus Hall was built in 1930, and dusty new additions have been plopped into the mix over the decades. The place is now massive, and appears dead to the world, but its ramshackle appearance always stays exactly the same (indicating regular upkeep), and its website shows a full roster of activities.

    Just up the street, the YMCA sports the Deco Moderate look that was popular in new suburbs of the late 1940s. It gave new public buildings a sense of the modern urbanity but without all the drama. This style holds up well, as it never looks too dated (for those who require contemporary) or too radical (for those who like quaint). This YMCA building went up in 1948, is still in use, and still looks fabulous.

    At the intersection of Lackland & Brown Road is this simple and handsome building, built in 1945. The curving corner, a ribbon of tiny windows and the dark brick pinstripes of the second floor give it a bit of a Steamliner Deco feel. There is always another business ready to take over any vacancies in this building, and it’s been this way since I first “met” the building in 1984. This intersection has businesses on 3 sides, but it’s a bit disconnected from the main commercial drags by houses. Meaning, it would have been a natural for this building – this intersection – to decay from natural suburban aging. But it hasn’t. What does Overland have going on that similar towns don’t?

    Directly across the street is a building that always tickles me. I mentally refer to it as Googie Van Der Rohe because it looks like a Chicago Mies building accented with a Southern California roadside motel lobby. It was built in 1957 as a bank and remains so, and it looks like that!

    The SoCal Googie looby was, obviously, the main entrance, meant to be accessed by foot, bus or car from the intersection. But in 1967 they moved the entrance to the opposite end of the building when they expanded that parking lot. The “new” entrance still has that afterthought look, and feels cramped because of the makeshift drive-through lanes crowding its scene.

    I love that a bench was placed under the canopy, so that employees can lunch and smoke in Jetsons splendor, and that they have to walk quite a ways to get to it, as that door has a chain on it to make sure it stays shut.

    So, the entrance is now useless as such, yet they’ve left it completely intact, with the “crazy man, crazy” light fixture hanging like it’s suspended in prehistoric amber. It’s such a queer thing to have so many different banks move in and out of this building, reconfiguring its guts and alley as banking needs change, yet they leave the essential Mod-ness of it alone. Is it a case of “out of sight, out of mind?” Or that no one bank is ever inside long enough to invest in remodeling the non-essential parts? Or does it cast some sort of 77 Sunset Strip spell over all inhabitants, rendering those who would vinyl side incapable of doing so?

    By hanging a U-ey at Lackland & Brown, we drive back toward Woodson Road, hang a right and head straight into the thick of old fashioned Downtown Overland. And it really does seem to have gone out of its way to be old-fashioned from inception. County records show that most of this dense strip of buildings went up in the 10 years directly after WW2, so they built quickly during those last moments in time when pedestrian traffic still influenced how a commercial district was laid out.

    The downtown strip has a few stalwart businesses, remainders from the old days. But, again, each time a storefront becomes available, it gets filled much quicker than these types of commercial districts usually do. And by quicker than usual, I mean that we can cruise the central commercial strips of, say, Normandy or Baden or Glasgow Village and see a chain of vacant storefronts. But not in Overland.

    And they have never really had the room to renovate for expanded parking. Sure, they’ve taken down a building or 2 to squeeze in some blacktop spots, but overall, its street parking, and those spots are always filled and there’s always commerce taking place.

    One of the liveliest spots in downtown is the diner, above. By keeping it tiny (572 square feet being a good definition of such) they were able to push the building up against the sidewalk and use the leftover space for parking, which was quickly becoming a bigger concern when the place was built in 1957.

    Half of the building is decked out in Pseudo Deco, vaguely reminiscent of White Castles, while the other half is standard Corner Tavern Stone facade. That they were able to cram 2 distinct looks onto so little wall is most impressive.

    And the interior has barely changed in 50 years.
    What kills me is that one can easily walk from Paul Bros. service station (4th picture from the top of this entry) to this diner in about 10 minutes and somehow remain in a Leave It To Beaver world, untouched by the uglier aspects of modern time. And we’re not talking some retro homage; it’s the entire genuine article, unfussy and unconcerned that the diner reeks of decades worth of grease. It’s probably those ancient grease odors that makes the biscuits and gravey (spelled, my lord, with an “ey”) so damn great.

    The Hacienda Mexican restaurant has long been a popular staple in the downtown strip, but it hasn’t always been this pink. It used to have a more traditional Northwest County Adobe look. I feel they updated the color to Flamingo Pink to better coordinate with the establishment behind it…

    …which has spruced up its Lyndon B. Johnson congressional motel look with some hot sea foam green trim. Built in 1965, they were billed as “garden apartments,” for all doors faced into a central courtyard, much like in Southern California.

    Every good downtown needs a dollop of seediness, so this place has become rather transient, in the most romantic sense of the word. The set-up is actually quite nice, but I couldn’t get in any closer for better shots, as the working girls crossing the tiny parking lot were real uptight about someone taking pictures of their place so early on a Saturday morning. I respect free enterprise, so I respectfully moved on.

    Leaving downtown proper, we head back up Woodson Road, a couple of blocks south of Page Avenue, to one of my favorite buried MCM treasures. Overland is rather hilly, and note how this gem (above) plays with the topography by tapering a rectangle into the hillside. I love the feel of the windows melting into the ground, and the shades of blue springing out of green grass and blacktop.

    This place was built in 1958, and it’s a perfect model of that year’s modern aesthetic. Tiny tiles of aquatic blues, the concrete block sun screen that throws polka dots amid the shadows, simple planes low to the ground, cool geometry in service to manufacturing prowess. If this building could have been erected next to the Googie Van Der Rohe bank, the story of 1950s American Progress would have been perfectly told in microcosm.

    U.S Band & Orchestra Supplies now manufactures and wholesales instruments, and the building serves them well enough that they don’t think about it’s condition. This building needs some help. A good start would be to trim the hedges and kill the weeds, some waterproofing and paint on the faded surfaces.

    Each time I pass this faded beauty, I have to fight the overwhelming urge to have at the tile with a bucket of Spic & Span and a water hose. Just imagine how those tiles gleam when clean, how this building must have impressed when it first came to the neighborhood. And it could do that once again, but the immediate commercial strip in which this building sits is heading toward the kind of decay that invites future developers to go for Big Box infiltration. Should this ever be the case, the one building that just might save the above gem is…

    WOOFIE’S! Serving what has been called “the hot dog of the gods,” the building went up in 1955 and is only a dozen square feet bigger than the diner shown above. But this building was dedicated to the car from its inception, so the inside can now concentrate on being a tiny “shrine to the all-beef frankfurter.” It’s clean and bright, and on a brilliant sunny day, Woofie’s contrasted with my blue tile geo gem next door is a sight to break my heart. It speaks to me of all that’s good about America’s mid-century aspirations, and makes me proud that such a unique town like Overland is here for you and me.

    Skeleton: St. Louis Army Ammunition Plant

    Goodfellow Blvd. & Hwy. 70
    City of St. Louis, MO
    For several years there’s been talk of taking down the Munitions Plant, but the grounds are rumored to be so heavily infested with numerous chemical violations that remediation was an expensive and scary proposition. The City of St. Louis finally selected a developer in 2004, but still the hulking, iconic building sat motionless.

    Motionless, until recently. Crews have come in and are methodically stripping the Transite panels off the monolithic shed with the gaping-jaw roof. Removed of its cladding, its bones showing to the world, it now looks like the carcass of the turkeys we carved on Thanksgiving Day.

    This building has long been the hulking giant atop the hill, watching the ant-like cars crawl below on Highway 70. One need not be told what the building once was to intuitively understand that it was an important industrial building, devoid of frivolity, intent on humorless production of hardcore seriousness. But stripped of its gunmetal sheathing, the building is now curiously fragile and delicate… an elephant at the ice capades, a rhinoceros ballerina…

    To anyone born after World War 2, this building Has Always Been. Its prominent placement at the city’s northern boundary, at the peak of a hill, with its Erector Set roof roaring like a dinosaur makes it impossible to overlook, hard to ignore. Being a government building – a factory dedicated to war accessories – gave it an austerity and mystery that demanded respect and distance. You had to have a pass to get in while it was open, and once it was shuttered you needed a love of danger to risk wallowing in deadly leftover weaponry chemicals to trespass the barbwire-topped chain link fence boundary.

    For me, this was a building I always took for granted; it would always be there because we’re too afraid to take it down. So I was content to let others explore it. I was grateful that others took the time to document it.

    But upon seeing its metal skeleton exposed to the world, I now wanted to be near it, and to document that the seemingly-impenetrable was, in fact, penetrated, vulnerable and vanishing.

    So, through the hole in the fence I went, and the rumors are true: after about 20 minutes, my lips and fingertips were tingling and then numb; shortness of breath and cottonmouth followed close behind. It was the same reaction as from – years ago – traipsing around down inside the River Des Peres, mere days before they posted the yellow warning signs about chemical contamination = illness.

    Finally being up close to the naked military manufacturing giant erased its imposing qualities. Instead, the human factor became the dominating theme. People are able to dismantle it piece by piece. Tiny little doors everywhere for people to pass through. Countless ladders and catwalks for people to climb. Hundreds of pendant lights and windows so people could see.

    I was most enchanted with the pair of pedestrian entry gates on Goodfellow Blvd (above). It’s proof of a time – way back in the day – when St. Louis had so many public transportation options that more people entered the plant on foot than by car.

    Each entry has a tiny little guard station, with a half door option, and an elaborate stair rail system for both safety and function.

    It’s a tiny place for an always-on-duty guard to check your ID. Looking at it, I got images of steaming cups of coffee and a hearty “good morning!” to a line of familiar faces.

    And the 3 rows dividing the stairs are capped with a special well for other guards to stand in and check IDs while remaining out of the flow of foot traffic. I love the concept of guards – back then – being slim enough to fit within the metal tube “cup holder.”

    There is also a guard house at the driveway entry off Goodfellow. As the years went on, I picture the foot-traffic entrances seeing less and less activity, maybe having to let go of some of the guards, as most everyone was now coming to work via automobile. This became a busy spot, thus needing a much bigger cottage to house all those steaming cups of coffee…

    Note the old fashioned “keep away” sign…

    And, of course, the sternly worded warnings that backed up the feel of the architecture.
    This particular area of town was once our city’s most powerful evidence of modern progress. Just down the street from here (at Natural Bridge and Union) stands the now-abandoned General Motors Plant, built of the finest post-WW2 industrial modernism stock. These 2 complexes, along with healthy handfuls of other industrial and executive buildings exemplified the promise of American know-how and manufacturing might. We had just made the world safe from evil, and at the dividing line between city & county, we looked toward a bright future of benevolent superiority.

    Contrast what once was to how this same area is today, and take a look at the sign above, tacked onto lumber just inside the fence surrounding the Munitions Plant. What does that actually mean? Is it saying something that I just don’t understand? Or is it just more empty propaganda? Long ago, the government meant something, and now it’s a mockery, and I get the entire timeline right here, at the expired military complex…

    I read that thing a number of times, trying to figure out what it was getting at, and then I looked around at the desolation. The litter is literally 4-inches thick along all curbs, the roads haven’t been repaved in long past a decade or so. Every building, business and home reinforces that this part of town is past the point of abandoned.

    So, the city found a developer for this site, and this developer put up a sign. It’s a heavy vinyl banner, with plain red vinyl lettering saying there are plenty of opportunities on this site, give us a call. But one of the cords holding one of the ends up on the chain link broke long ago, and it’s folded over, thus unreadable. They have no other signs anywhere else on the property. Nor does the developer even mention this project on its website. Granted, the demolition of the building has only just begun, and guessing from my dizziness, the remediation has yet to happen, which could add another year or more till the land is ready.

    I was glad to have finally met this building face to face, and to have absorbed the last remnants of what it was before it disappears completely. But I left with an uncomfortable sense of sadness because something once so omnipresent and powerful – a building and an area – has been reduced to neglected nothingness, its remains sprinkled with a fine powdered sugar of vague promises. And the wind now blows trash through the plant’s skeletal remains… As a show of respect, I hope the building comes down relatively quick, because it’s kind of embarrassing to see it in its underwear.

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered this story several days after me.