I’m still not tired of it.
Granted, its groundview storefronts are funky looking.
They are in serious need of an update.
They are, unfortunately, a shadow of the beautiful building that was completed in November 1893.
At 15 stories, it was the tallest building in St. Louis at the time. The building originally had a roof top observatory which was later used as a beer garden. (You can sort of see that on the left tower roof in the old photo, circa 1900.)
So we've established that the building has, in fact, seen better days. But look upward toward the topmost floors and you will see some of the most beautifully ornate features found in St. Louis architecture today. (That’s my opinion anyway.) Luckily, several of its best features were left in tact.
And, of course, if I am so fascinated by it, you know that it must have a gorgeous cornice to top things off!
This building definitely does not disappoint in that respect. It even throws some columns in for good measure.
These griffins, or “bearcats” as architect/designer Louis Sullivan supposedly called them, are all over the place.
In the photo above, you can see that there is one between every set of columns. But it's only when you zoom in that you really get an idea of just how fabulous they are.
Don't you almost feel like they could take a bite out of you?! Grrrrrr!
Made you jump, didn't I?They’re scary, but beautiful.
You can see a rendering of the original face of the building here. You can see the decorative detail that surrounded the round windows. Yes, I said round. Please make a note of that because you aren't going to see round windows on the front of the building now.
Those windows – and the two-story arch entryway – were casualties of a complete remodel in the 1920s. Can you believe some idiot covered those up?!
However, if you sneak along the side of the building, in an alley between Union Trust and another building I hope to feature soon, you get an idea of what they were like but without the fancy adornment surrounding them.
OK. Maybe that's a little too harsh, but not that far off of being exactly what they deserve in my book.
At least for now, it doesn't appear to be in any immediate danger of having anyone else tinker with what first made it so great more than 115 years ago.
I'll be the first one in line to protest if they do.