It was a January 2nd phone conversation with my Father, and I don’t recall what got us on the topic, but we started talking about Walnut Park, a neighborhood in North St. Louis. He began reminiscing about what that neighborhood was like well over 40 years ago, and named all of the companies and manufacturing firms (like the Chrysler plant, the small ammunition plant, etc.) in the area, and how all those employees populated the Walnut Park neighborhood.
As is the topography of his amazing memory, my Father started rattling off the names of companies, street by street, a list of by-gone firms that either folded, merged or moved their operations outside of American soil, and how this killed the vitality of the surrounding area. There’s no disputing that population density follows jobs.
As my Father walked down memory lane, he stumbled on the name of the long-time electric company on Semple Avenue. He described the building, what they manufactured, but that he couldn’t remember its name brought the conversation to a close. On January 3rd, there was this brief message from him on my answering machine: “Moloney Electric. The name of the place on Semple was Moloney Electric.”
On January 9th, he calls me back to say that the site of the January 8th ABB shooting IS the old Moloney Electric building. A search of Moloney Electric brings up a history of acquisitions which eventually resulted in ABB at its present St. Louis location.
Considering our earlier conversations about the building and the tragedy that took place shortly thereafter, I think I’m going to lay off for a little bit on having these types of historical conversations with my Father, Built Environment Nostradamus.