Rock Star Architects

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I ran across this picture in a 1964 issue of LIFE magazine, and gasped with pleasure.  Click to enlarge it and see Harris Armstrong, George Kassabaum and Hari Van Hoefen floating above downtown St. Louis.  The swooning teenage-girl thrill I got from finding this photo reminded me of the first time I saw this:


Here’s David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed in a moment overloaded with rock power.  They have given the world some of its most awesome music.

The Rock Star Architects gave St. Louis some of its most awesome buildings.

A Hari Van Hoefen greatest hits package would include Northland Shopping Center.  The George Kassabaum best of  (on the HOK label) would include the Planetarium, and Harris Armstrong already has a box set highlighting his best known hits and B-side rarities.

The music of Bowie, Pop and Reed is treasured and re-mastered and re-released because it matters very much.  I hope that soon – very soon – St. Louis will learn to do the same with the works of Armstrong, Kassabaum and Van Hoefen.

7 thoughts on “Rock Star Architects

  1. What a great view of the Market Street area from back in the day! Thanks for sharing, Toby!

  2. I hear ya, Tony, but it was the City Fathers – not the architects – who made the decision to bulldoze the ghetto.

  3. So glad to see you’ve found this image in LIFE ! I’ve had a copy of the clipping, but I had no idea where it had been published.

    Can you tell me the issue date? Thanks . . .

  4. brilliant post, Toby. way to get my day off right.

    i swooned when i saw that shot of Harris Armstrong, as i’d not seen him before. what a talent. you can see it in his fingers – look how powerful they are…

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