St. Louis Architecture

St. Louis architecture is exhibited in a variety of commercial, residential, and monumental forms. We have the tallest monument constructed in the United States, the Gateway Arch. Read about the many influences reflected in the architectural styles around the city with these titles in our digital collections.

The "beautiful city" described by early 20th century picture postcard senders still exists. The vintage postcard images presented here take you on a tour of St. Louis' burgeoning days, where you will revisit the grand architecture and neighborhoods of the early part of the last century. See Union Station in its original incarnation as a train station. Witness the grandeur of the 1904 World's Fair held at forever beautiful Forest Park. Plus, savor the charm of the city's many other parks, such as Lafayette Park, the site where baseball was first introduced to St. Louis. You will visit the thoroughfares of downtown St. Louis before it became necessary to rebuild and renovate. Finally, visit favorite places like Soulard Market, which have thrived from the beginning, maintaining a connection between the past and the present.

Rising to a triumphant height of 630 feet, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a revered monument to America's western expansion. Envisioned in 1947 but not completed until the mid-1960s, the arch today attracts millions of tourists annually and is one of the world's most widely recognized structures. By weaving together social, political, and cultural history, historian Tracy Campbell uncovers the complicated and troubling history of the beloved structure. This compelling book explores how a medley of players with widely divergent motivations (civic pride, ambition, greed, among others) brought the Gateway Arch to fruition, but at a price the city continues to pay.

The Roaring Twenties was a period of lavish living in St. Louis. In 1917, when Ellsworth Statler decided to build a hotel in St. Louis, he ignited a hotel-building boom that was only quenched by the Great Depression of 1929. Architectural masterpieces arose, and local citizens and out-of-towners marveled at their grandeur. These hotels were hubs of activity and gathering places for high society. They survived the Great Depression and two world wars, but urban demise forced elegant hotels to crumble in disrepair. This book tells the intriguing stories of the Statler, the Chase, the Mayfair, the Lennox and the Coronado Hotels. Today, these hotels are restored and renewed—as glamorous now as they were in their earliest days. They welcome visitors to admire their beauty and savor the history they hold.

This two-part documentary film explores the life of one of America's greatest architects--hated by some, worshipped by others and ignored by many. Using archival photographs, live cinematography, interviews, newsreel footage and home movies, the film tells the story of Wright's turbulent life and his extraordinary professional career. It includes the commentary of architects, historians, biographers, writers, artists, former students of Wright and members of his family. The film explores in detail some of his most important buildings, including the Prairie Houses; Unity Temple; the Larkin Building; the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo; Fallingwater; the Johnson Wax Building in Racine, Wisconsin; the Usonian Houses; and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

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