Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Back In The Day

On a sweltering day in August, 2010, at a little past one, Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, had something special to offer. A funeral procession with horse-drawn hearse and a small cortege of mourners came rolling up the street. Now Martin Luther King Drive in its 4200-block is a busy place with lots […]

Read More »

Roll Out The Barrel

St. Louis is and has been a beer-soaked town. In the city, on nearly every other block, the corner tavern may be found. It’s nothing new; beer has been flowing from local taps for 200 nears now. The  difference between beer served a century ago and what is served today is that today’s brew is […]

Read More »

Hyde Park Brewery

The Hyde Park Brewery in St. Louis operated from 1878 to 1948, with a twelve-year hiatus during the prohibition era. It was, in fact, one of the few local breweries to reopen upon repeal of the Volstead Act. The beer’s slogan was the modest proclamation “Seldom Equaled, Never Excelled.” There are three known Hyde Park […]

Read More »

Old Sign Sees Light of Day

Location: St. Louis Avenue and Garrison, North St. Louis. As so often happens, this wall sign for Dau Furniture was suddenly exposed a couple years ago, circa 2009, after an adjoining building was razed.  The west-facing sign on the side of what is now a hair salon is quite lengthy in copy and likely dates […]

Read More »

Royal Patent Flour

No wonder there are so many extant wall signs for Royal Patent Flour in the Mound City—the flour was the flagship product of the Stanard-Tilton Milling Company and the Stanards were Captains of Industry in St. Louis during the 19th and 20th centuries. William K. Stanard—son of Edwin O. Stanard, former governor of Missouri—was president […]

Read More »

Star Saloon & Cafe: A Case Study in Commercial Archeology

Old Pattison Whisky has seen the light of day after 111 years. In yet another example of a beautiful old sign suddenly revealed, this west-facing brick wall on Folsom Avenue in near-South St. Louis was exposed in June, 2011, when the adjoining building collapsed. Don Bonnell, who owns both buildings plus a third connected structure […]

Read More »

Dana Forrester,
Watercolorist Extraordinaire

While searching for a subject that would combine a design-oriented composition with his detailed drawing / painting technique, Dana Forrester developed the brick wall series that has become central to to his national reputation.  In addition to his brick wall paintings, Dana also explores other aspects of commercial advertising in his art — old signs, […]

Read More »

Dr. Hoffman’s Red Drops

Many a lubricated patron of the taverns and restaurants that make up the Soulard neighborhood  has at one time or another pondered this large and friendly sign, one of the best remaining examples in St. Louis. Dr. Hoffman’s Red Drops rests on the north face of a building on Ninth Street at Allen. There are […]

Read More »

Euclid Ave. Carriage Co.

Walter Sheppe of Akron, Ohio submitted this photo, exposed in 1990, saying it is his favorite wall sign of all that he has seen. It is an ad for the Euclid Ave. Carriage Company, said to date from 1895. The picture in detail shows a folk-art rendition of a Victorian-era couple in their new carriage.  […]

Read More »

Rising Sun Stove Polish

A recently discovered gem in remarkably good condition, Rising Sun was exposed by demolition of an adjacent building as late as 2009.  Amazingly, some of the original color is still apparent, as seen in the rosy hues of the letters in “Rising.”  The building is in North St. Louis, on N. Broadway at E. Prairie, […]

Read More »