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Reading: Downtown St. Louis by NiNi Harris with Forward by Charlie Brennan

December 11, 2015 Books, Downtown, Featured No Comments
The cover shows men on the roof of an Arcade building bay window watching a parade on Olive
The cover shows men on the roof of an Arcade building bay window watching a parade on Olive

St. Louis Author, historian, & tour guide NiNi Harris is out with another book — this time on Downtown St. Louis.

Here’s the official publisher description of Downtown St. Louis:

In this rich photographic history, author NiNi Harris follows the evolution of downtown St. Louis from colonial days when French traders and craftsmen planted maize on the prairies that stretched from Fourth Street west to Jefferson Avenue, to millennials and empty nesters living in castle-like warehouses converted into twentyfirst-century lofts. 

Downtown St. Louis recalls when Native Americans arrived by canoe to attend a grand council and when the sounds of Italian street vendors filled the air in the 1870s. It describes the street celebration that erupted at Eighth and Olive Streets at the news that the Japanese had surrendered, ending World War II. All the while, generations of St. Louisans were building and rebuilding a spectacular downtown with ornate Victorian architecture reflected in the sheer glass walls of International Style skyscrapers, lavish art deco civic buildings, and a train station modeled after a walled medieval city. Filled with myriad images—historical and contemporary—this book chronicles the building of the old riverfront, the Wainwright Building, Busch Stadium II, and the Gateway Arch, among other major moments.

The five chapters are organized as follows:

  1. 1764-1816
  2. 1817-1873
  3. 1874-1916
  4. 1917-1945
  5. 1945-present

Previous posts about some of Harris’ other books:

Eventually I’ll find time to go through the book to examine all the images & read all the information.

— Steve Patterson


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