03 June 2015

Kinloch & Ferguson

I'll be presenting the largely unknown story of the long segregated communities Kinloch and Ferguson this Friday in Grand Center. My piece is part of the Artists' Showcase being held at the Public Media Commons located between Channel Nine and St. Louis Public Radio. The program will feature a series of live and multimedia pieces created just for this event. Check out the Facebook Event page for more details.

Advertisement for new suburban development, 1895.

Many of the white families who built homes in the "beautiful highland suburb" of Kinloch Park in the late 19th Century brought their Black servants with them and set aside a portion of the community for them to live with their families. Separate schools were set up for white and black students. The first school for Black children was a one-room frame structure, the Vernon School, built in 1885 which suggests there must have been a critical mass of families living there at the time.

The Vernon School was the first school built for Black children in St. Louis County.

In the early decades of the 20th Century, realtors devised a way to create a suburb for Blacks. Land  just West of Ferguson was marketed to Black families by the Olive Street Terrace Realty Company.

Here's an excerpt from an advertisement they placed in the St. Louis Argus dating from 1917 which suggests the mechanism for financing the transactions with the blessing of a bank.

Excerpt from an advertisement in the St. Louis Argus newspaper.

This practice was apparently seen as a legitimate means for investing in land development and profiting from laws which prohibited Black from buying property or obtaining loans.

Headline of an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about unique investment opportunity.

This practice was apparently common knowledge. It was known as the "Brooklyn Method" having been first developed as a means of selling land to Blacks across the river in Brooklyn, Illinois. A similar use of "straw buyers" was often used in St. Louis to circumvent restrictive covenants and similar limitations.

To find out more, please come to hear the rest of the remarkable story of this community.

24 May 2015

Is Kinloch Disappearing?

This presentation addresses the city's fascinating history, it's present status and its future potential.
This multimedia presentation created by Andrew Raimist will take place in Grand Center on the next First Friday: Friday, June 5, 2015 at 9pm. It addresses the fascinating history of the city, it's present status and its future potential.

Please invite anyone you know who would find this presentation interesting. It's part of an Artists' Showcase at the Public Media Commons. Please check it out!

My piece will be one of many unique, creative features including dance, poetry, live action and other forms of performance that must be seen to be believed. Contributors to this event include: Diana Barrios, Leverage Dance Theater, DJ Raven Fox, Sarah Bernhardt, Caitlin Funston, Libby Reuter, Joss Barton, Alessio Summerfield, Mark Albrecht, Damien Johnson, Daniel Shown and others.

The Public Media Commons is located between Channel Nine, Sheldon Concert Hall and St. Louis Public Radio on Olive in Grand Center.

Image courtesy of Julia Christensen of ohjuliaann.com (also apologies to).

17 April 2015

Ethical Society: 50th Anniversary Lecture & Exhibit

You are invited to the Ethical Society's 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, April 25 at 2pm.

Ethical Society, photograph © Andrew Raimist.
I will present “Ethical Society Building 50th Anniversary Celebration: Reflections on Harris Armstrong’s Design” shedding light on the architect’s creative process and the Society’s journey from its original St. Louis City home in the Sheldon Memorial to the current iconic mid-century modern structure on Clayton Road in 1965.   

Ethical Society Entry Hall, photograph © Andrew Raimist.
Preliminary design and models will be presented as well as the evolution toward its ultimate form. Armstrong's other designs for religious structures will be discussed as well as significant modernist religious structures designed by his contemporaries.

Ethical Society Meeting House, photograph © Andrew Raimist.
A reception will follow the presentation which is free and open to all.

project: Ethical Society
architect: Harris Armstrong
date: 1965
location: 9001 Clayton Road, Ladue, Missouri

16 April 2015

Steedman Architectural Library & Paul Hohmann Lecture

Tonight, Thursday, April 16 there are three items of architectural interest taking place at the Saint Louis Public Library's Central Branch, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. Phone: (314) 241-2288.

1 Steedman Architectural Library
Visit the Steedman Architectural Library. The room will be open for tours from 6pm to 6:30pm prior to the lecture. This room features rare and beautiful books on architecture and the related arts. It was a gift from George Fox Steedman and the room itself is a work of art. Here are some of my photographs of the room:


2 Architecture Lecture Series

From the library's website:
This month’s lecture in the Architecture Around the World Series, presented by the Steedman Architectural Library and the Society of Architectural Historians, will feature Paul Hohmann, architect at E+A Architecture and blogger at Vanishing STL, as he discusses “From Abbeys to Street Art – Germany and Austria along the Danube.” The program takes place in Central’s Carnegie Room on April 16 at 6:30 p.m.
From 6 to 6:30pm, visitors can step inside and view one of Central’s most special rooms, the Steedman Architectural Library. The group will then move to the Carnegie Room for Paul Hohmann’s lecture.

The event is FREE and open to the public.
You can see the Central Library's original post here.

3 Form + Function Exhibit

From some of the Steedman Collection’s most important and beautiful items will be on public display in Central Library’s Great Hall. The exhibit affords the general public a rare chance to view truly important materials and learn more about them. This exhibit will be closing in May 2015.

Link to the Library's announcement of the exhibition.

14 April 2015

MCM Bus Tour

On Thursday, April 14, 2015, Andrew Raimist, AIA and John Guenther, FAIA will be leading a bus tour of significant works of MCM architecture at the conclusion of the Mid-Century Modern Structures symposium sponsored by the National Park Service taking place this week in downtown St. Louis.

For anyone interested, it's still possible to purchase an entry pass for some or all of the three-day symposium which has just begun this morning at the Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Louis.

B'nai Amoona Synagogue, Ethical Society, Priory Chapel and Kraus House (left to right).

Here's the official description of the tour from the symposium program.
The tour highlights significant Mid-Century Modern buildings by outstanding architects of the period for a variety of project types including commercial, residential and religious structures located around the St. Louis metropolitan area.

We’ll visit an immaculately restored Usonian house by Frank Lloyd Wright (exterior tour) and a thinshell, parabolic folded-plate concrete church designed by Gyo Obata, FAIA (HOK). We will then drive by a meeting house for the non-denominational Ethical Society by local modernist Harris Armstrong, FAIA, the B’nai Amoona Synagogue (now COCA) by legendary modernist architect Erich Mendelsohn and two structures by local modernist leader Isadore Shank framing the early and high period of MCM architecture.