Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Rediscovering the Architecture and History of St. Louis: A Walking Tour With a genius name Michael Allen

Posted on by cheeraz

Far too often when we live in cities we take their beauty and histories for granted. Unless you’re a historian or just an highly informed person it may never cross your mind that Forest Park was once forest land and was however, purposely sat aside to become a protected park and the surrounding area was rural.

As a child growing up in St. Louis, many of us hear about the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair and see some of the pictures but we never get the full story of how that area, we now call the Central West End was even part of St. Louis City until the latter part of the 1800’s.

During the walking tour of the Central West End with our highly knowledgable guide, Michael Allen, we were taken on a bit of a mind trip as we stood on various corners and forced to re-imagine the neighborhood.

Just think, where the Chase Park Plaza Hotel now stands use to be a mansion and a large plot of rural land. The land owner saw the coming modernization of the neighborhood and decided to sell making room for Architect, Preston J. Bradshaw to building a hotel that would be considered a crown jewel of the city.

If you’re a local and what to get to know your city better, an architecture buff or someone getting ready to audition for Jeopardy give Michael Allen a call to give you a detailed download on some of the cities building and the history of the area.  He surely opened my eyes to a lot that I didn’t know. Ooohhh, wait ’til you hear the story about the Cathedral Basilica.

Gathering in the lobby of the Chase


Michael Allen explaining the history and architectural details of the Chase


The Women's Club on Lindell


This is rumored to be where the county's first cocktail party happened. Cheers!


The architect had a thing for circular design


You will not believe who much mosaic glass is in that building

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