From its early days as a frontier fur-trading post in the 1700s, St. Louis grew into 'Paris on the Mississipi', a bustling city of elegant hotels, offices and government buildings that was one of the marvels of 19th-century America. More than just ...
about any city in America, St. Louis embraced the imposing forms and lush ornamentation of the Beaux Arts tradition. Indeed, one can make the argument that in the United States, only Washington D.C. has a more impressive collection of Classically inspired structures. But along with all of those pillars and pediments is an insistent- at times visionary- streak of Modernism that has moved the needle of architecture forward on more than one occasion. It is a legacy well worth celebrating. American City: St Louis Architecture- the first large- format book on the city's architecture since the 1920s- traces the evolution of St. Louis's built environment and includes more than 140 new colour photos of 50 of the city's most important structures. These range from such 19th-century masterpieces as Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building, Alfred Mullet's Old Post Office and Theodore Link's Union Station to recent additions such as Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch, Tadao Ando's Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Gyo Obata's Centene Plaza and Maya Lin's Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza. St. Louis, say the authors, "still believes in beauty" as the buildings so eloquently demonstrate.