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Louis Sullivan's Chicago in St Louis


Sometimes, it seems, buildings just have to leave town to be appreciated fully; here's an example!


When Louis Sullivan's 1893 Chicago Stock Exchange Building was demolished in 1972 after a big campaign for its preservation parts of its intricate and carefully-wrought decoration found new homes elsewhere, including the St Louis City Museum, where a number of its pieces are on display, along with their story.


The elegant building, one of America's first steel-framed skyscrapers, featured elaborate detailing on its lower floors, where the Exchange and its traders were, tall vertical windows above for ten floors filled with office workers and a unifying cornice across the top. The interior lobbies were a work of art of their own.


While the big preservation battle was lost, the small one continues every day...


Also on display, two limestone pilasters from St Louis's home-grown and now demolished 1928 Passavant Memorial Hospital.


All of which reminds me of a short rhyme by Clarence Day:

When eras die, their legacies are left to strange police;
Professors in New England guard the Glory that was Greece


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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