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 where I worked the day 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?
Well, today was the first parade of the Mardi Gras revelries and as usual Mlle. Renee decided to sleep in. It was the annual Beggin’ Pet Parade in Soulard.
Actually, Mlle. Renee really isn’t into playing dress up. She’d be willing to nibble on a piece King Cake or even a Beggin’ Strip, but in the middle of a parade of canines (and cats) I’m sure she would rather play run, roll and chase. GAD-ZOOKS! I have visions of being pulled through the streets behind a pack of wild and crazy parade pets.
Besides, on Sunday, I like to sleep in, too.
On February 14, 1764, a 14-year old Auguste Chouteau and a couple of dozen of Frenchmen stepped out of their boat in the Mississippi River, and began building a shelter on the shore for a fur trading outpost in the name of Laclede, Maxent & Company of New Orleans.
In April, his stepfather, Pierre de Lacléde Liguest, arrived and officially named the settlement Saint Louis, in honor of the medieval French monarch and later saint, Louis IX. And this is the exact spot where they build their settlement …
CELEBRATING THE WICKET CITY!
You’re not only a great place to live …
You’re a great place to visit, too!
That means the guttering around the roof is full of ice and snow. Guess who isn’t going to climb up there and break it out? Actually, it warmed up a bit today. It almost got above the freezing point. You know, if they would have had the Winter Olympics here, they wouldn’t have to make artificial snow. Or save up last year’s snow either. Did you know the first Olympic Games held in the United States were actually held right here in the city. It was the 1904 Olympics, they didn’t call them Summer Olympics back then, because they didn’t have Olympics for gold weather sports.
Guess what? Since it was the first time the games had been held outside of Europe, not many countries sent teams to compete. It figures, hold a party in the Wicket City and the World does come. It wasn’t a complete fiasco though. It did have unique competitions like a tug of war and the hop, skip and jump. And it probably would have done better if they had TV coverage. But Bob Costas didn’t live here back then.
Surprise! A dramatic YODA In A Box! Just to announce that I did a Origami Project today. It was a Star Wars Origami Project and I folded a paper Yoda from a single square sheet of paper. All folding and no cutting either!
In case you’re wondering, it was Spicy Baked Beans over Mashed Potato Cakes with a Grilled Bratwurst. Sort of sounds like leftovers, doesn’t it? It was, except for the brat. But I still had to cook all of them. I also had a cup of Hot Cocoa with Vanilla Marshmallow Snowmen. And it was so good, I forgot to photograph it before I drank it. Yes, Virginia, my Keurig makes hot cocoa, tea and apple cider in addition to coffee. So, I didn’t get the unit that also makes iced beverages.