Gone but not forgotten

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

My next installment of recently-scanned photos from the mid-90s thru the early 2000s...

The Arena... the Checkerdome... Whatever you called it, the Old Barn was one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.

Remember these cute little Bi-State shuttle buses that used to circulate through downtown streets? 

I much prefer the font of the old Budweiser sign to the current one. Don't fix it if it ain't broken...

This handsome block of Cadet Ave. at Kingshighway & Manchester in Forest Park Southeast was demolished and replaced by a senior living center...

The old Chouteau viaduct epitomized urban grit: 

Not sure why these Sesame Street doors were replaced when these flats on Boyle were renovated some years ago.  The funky '70s colors were a huge selling point in my opinion.

Corner of Forest Park Parkway & Boyle, 2000.  The building on the right is now the site of the sleek Cortex building:

Okay, why the hell did they get rid of the old fountain in Maryland Plaza?  The new fountain is nice and fancy, but too Galleria-ish for my taste.  When it comes to neighborhood landmarks, simple is usually better in my book.

The Central West End skyline, 1997.  The Round Building looked awesome from every vantage point.  I miss it every day.

Darst-Webbe-- every suburbanite's dreaded wrong turn on the way to a Cards game:

This solid row of stately old beauties on Delmar just west of Kingshighway exemplified urban sophistication, even in their dilapidated condition.  Their demolition in 1999 is a huge loss to our urban landscape.  I'm quite sure that they would've been lovingly restored had they survived until now...

More photos of these gorgeous ruins can be seen here: Built St. Louis: West End

A fishbowl bus with the old red-orange-yellow Bi-State color scheme cruises down Washington Avenue:

Gaslight Square, 2002.  Who's STUPID idea was it to tear these buildings down rather than incorporate them into the redevelopment of the district?  Had these buildings been restored, they undoubtedly would've become a prized location for shops and restaurants and helped bridge the gap between the CWE and Midtown.  Depressingly, they were instead destroyed and replaced with new housing, relegating present-day Gaslight Square to a mere pass-through neighborhood on the way to somewhere else.

I am posting another view of Gaslight Square to emphasize the idiocy that occurred here in the name of progress.

Givens Row, Delmar Blvd. & T.E. Huntley Ave.  The double townhouse was lost to fire a few years ago, and only the single townhouse remains.  Prior to the 1960s, Midtown was characterized by blocks upon blocks of residential rows similar to these.

The old Greyhound station, 13th & Cass:

Happy Taco!  Delmar & Hamilton:

Irv's Grill, Vandeventer & Farty-Far:

Bonus points for anyone who remembers Jimmie's Diner at 9th & Locust, across from the American Theater (now Roberts Orpheum).  It was a 24-hour joint, and had all the makings of a sitcom.  I vividly recall hanging out there late one night with some high school friends, and in walks a lady with a leopard fur coat, fishnet stockings and ultra high-heeled shoes, accompanied by her pimp decked out in a purple suit, a matching hat and white alligator shoes.  Going into Jimmie's Diner was going downtown, when "downtown" had a very different connotation than it does today...  (Sorry for the poor picture quality- I was only 18 when I took it.)

Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, pre-censorship and overgrown ivy:

The old sign on the Mark Twain Hotel, 9th & Pine:

Battered old buildings on Martin Luther King Blvd. near Midtown.  Gone.

Before it was Coffee Cartel, it was Nuberry's!

I still don't quite believe that The Parkmoor was actually torn down for a drive-thru Walgreen's.  Really?  No, REALLY?  Yes, really.

For some reason, I just knew these old street signs on Memorial Drive downtown were not going to be around much longer.  I was right-- they were replaced just a couple months after I snapped this pic (circa 2000).  I'm guessing they were installed in the late '60s or early '70s.  What I would give to have this hanging up in our shop...

Once upon a time, Euclid Avenue was the center of St. Louis' counter-culture. The Rec Club was one of the last shops that served the Central West End's once-flourishing alternative scene (somewhere I have pics of West End Wax, but I haven't found them yet)...  

The closing of Streetside Records marked a turning point for The Loop, and it's never been quite the same since.

When I heard that the Switzer's building was destroyed in a storm, I almost choked on my licorice.

Hope you enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane!

For more pics of St. Louis in the 1990s-early 2000s, check out our previous threads: 

Cherokee Street, 1997-2002

St. Louis in the late '90s/early 2000s!

Winds of Change

More to come!

Comments (21)

Chris on 07-Jun-2012 06:31 PM

Thank you for posting these Jeff. It really pulls at the heart strings to see some of these places gone, especially the old diners and houses in the cwe. I wish I was able to spend more time downtown in the 90's as a kid. Parents were deathly afraid of
the city when I was growing up.

Kenneth Farmer on 10-Jul-2012 12:06 AM

The photo identified as the Old Grehound Building at Cass and 13th was built & occupied by the Cass Bank until 1974. Greyhound Bus was located for years in the Union Market Building until they built a beautiful new terminal at Delmar & Broadway. Then strangely,
terminal which was relatively new was torn down to make way for the Dome development. That Greyhound was nicer than the new transportation center at 14th & Clark.

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