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  • Lindell MCM Walking Tour, May 1st

    Posted on April 22nd, 2010 Toby Weiss 3 comments

    Saturday, May 1st, 2010 at 10 a.m

    Join Michael Allen (Ecology of Absence) and myself for a walking tour of mid-century modern buildings on Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End, St. Louis, MO.

    This second edition of our tour is part of the Open Streets 2010 event, and is co-sponsored by the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation.  This tour is free, while the knowledge and appreciation of Lindell’s thick and rich stock of MCM buildings is priceless.

    Here’s an overview of some of the buildings you will see up close and narrated.

    Meet us at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st, at the Pope statue in front of St. Louis University’s Pius XII Library, 3650 Lindell Boulevard (the Pius XII is a breathtaking MCM beauty – check it out here).

    The official leg of the tour is from Pius XII to the former Housing Authority building (recently saved from the CVS wrecking ball) at Sarah & Lindell. We will take a short break stop, and continue with the unofficial portion of the tour from Sarah to Kingshighway.

    Join us at 10 a.m., or catch up with us at any point on the walk. Look for a large group of people completely smitten with the mid-century modern treasures of the Central West End.  We look forward to sharing the riches with you!

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  • Walking Tour of CWE MCM, May 17th

    Posted on May 11th, 2009 Toby Weiss 8 comments

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    From Landmarks Association:

    Sunday, May 17, 2009:  Film and Walking Tour

    This was the Future: Mid-Century Modern Architecture on Lindell Blvd.
    10:00 a.m.

    Begin inside the Chase Park Plaza Cinema, 212 N. Kingshighway

    Have a mid-century modern morning in May! A screening of the new short documentary San Luis: This Was the Future tells the story of the threatened San Luis Apartments.  After the 10 minute film, Toby Weiss of beltstl.com and Michael Allen (ecology of absence) will lead a walking tour of the many mid-century treasurers along Lindell Boulevard, where modern design flourished between World War II and the 1970s.  The walk will run from the Chase Park Plaza Hotel to Vandeventer and back, so be prepared for serious walking.

    See a free movie, take a free tour, get a little exercise, get a lot of knowledge… there are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning!  Please do join us Sunday if you can.  Michael is the brains of the outfit, I’ll be the “little song, little dance, a little seltzer down the pants.”  It promises to be a good time.

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  • San Luis on KSDK

    Posted on May 5th, 2009 Toby Weiss No comments

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    See video of Randy Vines romancing the San Luis on KSDK.

    Good job of hearing from both sides.  Now, what about actually having meaningful conversation face to face?

    The Archdiocese goal of more parking can be achieved in several different ways. The value of that land and its greater use can be achieved in several different ways.  More can be accomplished by joining together than by tearing apart, and the Friends of the San Luis are extending a hand to the Archdiocese.  Here’s hoping they return the sentiment.

    RELATED
    San Luis documentary “This Was The Future”

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  • This Was The Future

    Posted on April 18th, 2009 Toby Weiss 7 comments

    save-the-san-luis

    Towards the effort to save the San Luis, a documentary was made in 48 hours over the first weekend in March 2009. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this adventure, and a big round of applause to everyone involved. You’re all brilliant.

    There are plans for a proper screening in May during Preservation Week (details forthcoming), but you can watch it now.  It’s less than 8 minutes long, so watch it a couple of times, and pass it around.  It’s an easy way to raise the profile of a building longing to be spiffed up and returned to its glamorous life.

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  • Central West End "Progress"

    Posted on January 24th, 2009 Toby Weiss 2 comments

    A “Special Progress Section” was included in the May 7, 1961 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. These 3 examples shown boasted about the progress on Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End, like the Optimist building.

    They also touted the new building for the Engineer’s Club, which is by the same architecture firm as the Optimist building, Schwarz & Van Hoefen.

    And then there was the new chancery office for the Catholic Archdiocese, which was under construction at the time of publication. By clicking on the above photo to read the caption, one finds this quote:

    The Catholic Church has been a bulwark in the fight against decay, providing assistance for the Central West End Association and other neighborhood groups.

    Ironically, the same Catholic Church that championed progress on this block of Lindell now wants to tear down one of those progressive buildings they helped usher in.
    Learn more about the push to save the San Luis here.

    It was a sweet justification to find this “Special Progress Section,” because it supports what I’ve been trying to say about the Central West End and Lindell Boulevard, in particular: all chapters of its story are important and vital. And it is highly irresponsible and short- sighted to begin destroying buildings that were considered the desirable solution to older buildings they felt needed to be destroyed. The cycle has got to stop! We can no longer (literally) afford to squander our history and resources. There must be real understanding of past and present, and a practical plan and vision for the future based on the realities and aspirations of the entire community.

    You can see how these 3 buildings look today by clicking here.

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