Spring in St. Louis
26, July 2016

Library Preservation Meets Fate

This is a library-preservation story. Really, it is. I promise. It’s also the chance to show off a really cool cover of an issue of Fate Magazine: True Stories of the Strange and the Unknown, a magazine first published in Evanston, Illinois, in 1948. Read more »

21, July 2016

It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity!

Can you imagine surviving a St. Louis summer without air conditioning? Well, now you don’t have to. Here's a look at the six main ways St. Louisans cooled off before the invention of A/C.

1. Fan yo’self

Fans helped move the muggy air, and several styles graced St. Louis homes over the years. Read more »

20, July 2016

St. Louis's Compliments to Sherman

If you’ve ever attended a formal dinner in a grand location for the express purpose of paying homage to the featured guest, you’ve attended the modern equivalent of a mid-19th-century complimentary dinner—but probably with fewer speeches to sit through. Read more »

15, July 2016

Who Knew? Going Beyond the St. Louis Question

History, tradition, and memories. That’s why we love our high schools here in St. Louis. Like it or not, “the question” has helped us make connections for generations. Plus, at cocktail parties it’s a great conversation alternative to politics. Nothing wrong with that! Read more »

14, July 2016

Harriet Hosmer: Nudity Pioneer

If you know the name Harriet Hosmer, you likely know of her work as a sculptor and have seen her pieces on display in museums throughout the world. But even though Hosmer is remembered today as a trailblazer and a monumentally talented artist, her road to fame was a difficult one. Born in Massachusetts in 1830, Hosmer demonstrated a unique artistic ability early on but was met with barriers to her professional and artistic development—and even the freedom to do what she loved. Read more »

12, July 2016

The Evolution of Mourning

When we attend funerals today, most of us pay our respects at funeral homes. In the 1860s, though, funerals took place in the homes of those mourning their loved ones and were rather intimate affairs. For example, the coffin was often made by someone close to the deceased or a local carpenter, and the body was prepared in the home by family or close friends. The funeral service itself took place in the home. Afterward, friends would carry the coffin to the cemetery, using a hearse only if the distance from the home to the cemetery was too great. Read more »

7, July 2016

Coco Chanel and the Nazis

From fashionistas to those who commit fashion faux pas, nearly everyone who has donned a little black dress owes homage to Coco Chanel. Her ingenuity graced the fashion world with taste, ease, and utter chicness as she revolutionized the way women wore black. Although she’s remembered and admired as a heroic icon in 20th century fashion history, Chanel may in fact have a scandalous past as dark as her beloved little black dresses. Read more »

5, July 2016

Eye on Exhibits: I Hated It

“I hated that exhibit. It gave such an ugly view of our city. I hate for people from out of town to see it.”

“We didn’t really care for that one. It was just a lot of stuff on the walls to read.” Read more »

1, July 2016

Looking Back: Float Designs for the 1929 VP Parade

The Veiled Prophet (VP) parade has been an iconic St. Louis event for over 130 years. Inspired by the Mardis Gras festivities in New Orleans, the Veiled Prophet Organization (a group of St. Louis businessmen) launched the parade and related pageantry to boost interest in the city's week-long harvest festival. The first VP parade took place in October 1878 and featured floats purchased from New Orleans Mardis Gras organizers. In later years, artists designed floats specifically for the St. Louis parade. Read more »

29, June 2016

Flipping the Switch on the Chase Hotel Sign

The past hundred years have been exciting ones for St. Louis, and the landmark Chase Hotel has been there for almost every one of them. The 9-story, 500-room Chase was built in 1922 by St. Louis businessman Chase Ulman at the corner of Lindell and Kingshighway, right along Route 66 (although the alignment of the Mother Road changed over time). Seven years later, Sam Koplar built the majestic 28-story Park Plaza Hotel next to the Chase, and the two hotels merged in 1947. Read more »