Last week readers indicated in the poll the millions spent renovating the Central Library was a good investment. The results are at the very end but I want to show you some areas where the library has changed. I was fortunate to tour the library with the AIA St. Louis last week, many photos below.
The library reopens to the public on Sunday December 9, 2012 so you can see in person then.
First we need to understand how the central library was designed. From the sidewalk it appears to be a solid mass, but that is not the case.
So now you know how the building is organized around the grand hall, let’s head inside.
Still here? Below are the poll results:
Q: $70 Million To Renovate The Central Library A Good Investment?
Yes 113 [73.38%]
No 17 [11.04%]
Maybe 13 [8.44%]
Unsure/No Opinion 10 [6.49%]
Other “too much money but needed some renovation”: 1 [0.65%]
I was nervous about changing the library, the impact of so much money could’ve been a bad thing. In the end I think we’ve made a great investment for the next 100 years. St. Louisans in 2112 can decide what to do next.
Most are aware of the former horse trough in the Ivory Triangle, where Ivory, Schirmer, & Virginia Avenue meet. Although it's no longer used for that purpose, it's the last remaining horse trough in the city.
In the time before automobiles, there were dozens of large watering troughs provided by the city, and hundreds of smaller ones, usually supplied & maintained by tavern owners.
In a survey conducted by the city in September 1890, over 130,000 animals were seen to be drinking from the 38 city troughs in a single day.
In 1916, there were still 344 troughs in use. By 1932, there were 71 smaller troughs, but only 8 large troughs, located at 3rd & Washington; 4th & Chouteau; Broadway & Cass; Leffingwell & Wash; 20th & East Grand; Ivory & Schirmer; and two that were removed that year when Market Street was widened, at Market & Compton, and Market & Jefferson.
As late as 1937, the trough at Leffingwell & Wash was still serving 60 horses a day. Remaining in operation until 1958, it was removed in 1963, when the street was repaved. If you're wondering where this was, the name of Wash Street was changed to Cole in 1941. The second to last horse trough was the one at 4th, Chouteau, & Broadway, where water was disconnected in 1950. Turned into a flower planter, it was removed in 1960, and donated to the Museum of Transportation.
Photo: Horse trough - Jefferson & Market, 1932
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