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New exhibit focuses on the St. Louis riverfront that was razed in the 1940s

February 6, 2010 Downtown, Events/Meetings 5 Comments

ABOVE: One of the 40 new paintings by Shelia Harris for this exhibit
ABOVE: One of the 40 new paintings by Shelia Harris for this exhibit

The City of St. Louis had already cleared 40 city blocks of the riverfront before the competition was held that resulted in Eero Saarinen’s Arch. The city’s oldest buildings and street grid were lost in the process. All that remains are old photos, maps, drawings and the Old Cathedral.  Tomorrow the National Park Service opens a new exhibit focusing on what was lost:

“(St. Louis, MO)- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will host a special exhibit from St. Louis artist Sheila Harris at the Old Courthouse from Feb. 14 through Aug. 22, 2010. Created especially for the memorial, the exhibit consists of nearly 40 watercolor paintings of buildings that once stood on the Arch grounds. The exhibit will launch with an artisit’s reception on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m.

While the exhibit is on display at the Old Courthouse, Harris will discuss and demonstrate her technique during several scheduleded appearances. A schedule of the appearances can be found online at www.nps.gov/jeff.

For further information on the exhibit click here (PDF).”

Photos and maps will also be on display. Anyone who loves St. Louis’ history should see this exhibit.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Fenian says:

    On 3rd street, not even a mile South of the Old Cathedral, exists the second oldest church in St. Louis, St. Mary of Victories. It was built on virgin land back in 1843 if I am not mistaken. It now stands in the shadow of the highway. I would recommend anyone interested in St. Louis' history to stop by sometime.

  2. AT says:

    This brings us back to the debacle that WAS the dismantling and numbering of the pieces of the Old Rock House; and why parts of it are stored all over the city, why some elected officials have parts of it in their houses and why another promise was never kept……a terrible shame.

  3. G-Man says:

    Horribly depressing, and my biggest pet peeve about this city. Destruction of St. Louis' oldest district, for no other reason than destruction itself. This city likes to crow about its history on one hand while actively destroying it on the other.

    Another thing – if you weren't curious about St. Louis' history on your own, you would have no idea buildings were ever there, as if this area was always bland parkland since the city was settled. It's pathetic. Nothing to my knowledge, stands to indicate on the Arch Grounds that on this particular spot, stood the Chouteau house, the Spanish Government house, etc. This is why Saarinen's “frontier village” concept of poteau-en-terre reconstructions absolutely needs to be brought back in some form.

  4. amyinstl says:

    My grandfather took pictures during the demolition. I ran across them a few years back when my dad gave me some family photos

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