The day started off by first being cool … having great Saint Louis blue skies with floating puffy white clouds. And I decided to get out and seize the great day while I was able. I decided to start with a walk in the park which I captured with my pocket camera.
The main entrance to Forest Park is the JEFFERSON MEMORIAL dedicated to our third president who had the foresight to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. The memorial is also the home of the Missouri History Museum. Notice that the Museum is also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Saint Louis. They have a great exhibit celebrating the anniversary running through next February, but I didn’t want to waste the day inside a museum. So I went around the museum and into the park.
No, this is not the trolly that Judy Garland rode on in Meet Me In Saint Louis. This is the trolly you will be able to ride on later next year, when it travels from the Museum to the entertainment center of the historic DELMAR LOOP in University City.
Bikers and runners …
And duck families!
The Boathouse is located on Post Dispatch Lake in the heart of the park. If you’re athletically inclined you can rent a paddle boat and wear yourself out exploring the waterways in the park. The Boathouse is also a damn fine restaurant and that was why I was there. I was meeting a half dozen people I used to work with for an ungodly amount of years for one of our regular lunch get-togethers.
Naturally, we opted to dine outside to enjoy the view and the fantastic day. The conversation was great! Ditto the food! And it was a totally enjoyable day!
My Pretty In Pink Butterfly
It also inspired me to get out of the house and enjoy the day which I will tell you about in my next post.
But in order to take the picture, I had to go across the Mississippi River into Illinois and walk along the railroad track to get in position to shoot. And drat, look at all the power lines that got in the way. So I’m adding a couple of bonus pictures. I’ve been photographing the Arch for years, and this is the first photo I shot…
THE MONUMENT UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This was taken in 1965. It’s also a black and white photo, since this was before digital photography. And how many young men could afford Kodachrome film. I also took a photo from the top floor of the office building where I worked the day the center section was lowered into position to join the two legs. (Unfortunately, it’s stored on a slide in one of the many boxes holding years of slide trays that are stored in the back of the closets.)
And in case you’ve never been to Saint Louis to visit the arch in person and you’re wondering how people get up to the top of the 630-foot-high monument to look out of the little windows there … well, there are steps, but not many people would want to climb up them. Instead, there is a little train with little people pods that will carry you up and down.
The People Pod
And trust me, it is a real trip up to the top! By the way, the Arch’s real name is The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and it is part of a National Park that runs along the Mississippi River at the exact location where French fur traders landed 250 years ago to found the city dedicated to Louis IX, saint and king of France. So we’re having a big birthday party around here this year. Come visit and help us celebrate.
Euclid and McPherson is the heart of Saint Louis’ Central West End. Tom Williams lived here when he was a student at Washington University and before he changed his name to Tennessee. It’s has been a cultural center of the city for every movement for over a century from jazz to hip to gay. It’s a street that can’t be captured in a single photograph.
Tributes to Saint Louis’ Creative Greats
Plenty of spots to sit and rest and watch the world pass by.
February 14, 2014 was the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Saint Louis! And the city will be celebrating for an entire year! To kick off the celebration 250 birthday cakes were decorated by local artists and distributed at various locations around the city. I’ve discovered a few of them so far …
In front of the Art Museum at the top of Art Hill overlooking the Grand Basin.
Behind the Missouri Historical Museum.
50 PEOPLE 50PLACES 50 IMAGES 50 MOMENTS 50 OBJECTS
NOTICE IT’S FREE ADMISSION, TOO!
In front of Rigazzi’s Restaurant on the Hill.*
(And I used to work with the lady who decorated this cake many years ago!)
Now all I have to do is find the other 247 birthday cakes in the next year.
*Photo courtesy Bob Mahon
In 1840s immigrants from Germany began settling in the near north Saint Louis areas. The neighborhoods where they settled became known as Bremen and Baden from the areas where they had lived in Germany. Except for a few, most lived in rented row houses that filled the north of city.
So the first buildings that these new arrivals constructed were Catholic Churches. Holy Trinity was the first in 1849. It was followed by Saint Liborius in 1856. Seven years later Holy Cross Parish was founded to the northwest in the Baden neighborhood. And in 1873, Perpetual Help was founded. And just one year later, Saint Augustine Church was founded. The pastor was the Rev. Henry Jaegering and the founders of the church included my great-grandfather Franz (Frank), my grandfather Adolph and his eight brothers and sisters. Actually, it took them about 24 years to complete building their church.
In 1897 this classic gothic church was built at the corner of Lismore and Hebert Streets. Soon, a large grade school was constructed across the street facing the church. Both my father and I attended and graduated from that school about 27 years apart.
The Old Saint Augustine Catholic Church Today
Back in the 1970s the church was closed, deconsecrated and sold by the Archdiocese of Saint Louis to a Baptist congregation. It was passed down to other non-denominational churches over the years.
And in just about the same time that it took to build the church in the first photo, you see the church as it stands today.
By comparing the two photos you can see where the church has been vandalized. The stained glass rose window has been partially destroyed and most of the windows have been boarded up. The school building actually caught fire and was demolished. Where it stood is now a vacant lot.
Why is today’s society so determined to destroy the culture our ancestors struggled so hard to build?