Midtown


Grand and Olive Area

Between 1880 and 1900, the Grand and Olive vicinity began to acquire its familiar commercial appearance which was probably influenced by St. Louis University's move to its present campus in 1888. One of the earliest business buildings to be built there was the Beers Hotel on the northwest corner of Grand and Olive. Originally the five story building was a pleasant residential address which later became more transient in nature. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1931 and was replaced by the Woolworth variety store. Cater cornered across the intersection was the Grand Avenue Hotel, operated by Joseph Gerardi, and east of Grand, on the north side of Olive, was the dancing studio of Jacob Mahler, where many young St. Louisans learned the art of terpsichore. A well known dance palace of a slightly later period was the Arcadia Ballroom, at 3517 Olive Street, erected about 1920. It was a stronghold of the top jazz bands of the twenties and thirties, was later converted into a bowling alley and was razed in 1966 and its site became a parking lot.


Image-Grand and Olive area in 1875.
Image-Midtown Theater District in 1935.
Image-Beers Hotel at Grand and Olive in the 1890's.