A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types

Period 3 - The World's Fair City & the Automobile (1904-1940)

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Social Buildings

Prairie Style/Arts and Crafts Style

Although the Prairie Style and Arts and Crafts movements were seen primarily in residential structures, they appeared in the architectural designs of several social clubs. The former Wednesday Club Building, at 4504 Westminster Place (now the Learning Center), was built in 1908 from plans by Theodore Link, for a women's organization specializing in social causes. The first story between the end bays features tall window openings with multi-light, double hung windows, and transoms. The second story is stuccoed, with brick window surrounds, and three-over-one windows. In the middle of the second story, French doors lead to a small balcony. The building has a hipped roof with overhanging eaves.

Beaux-Arts Style

The Beaux Arts style was used for prominent club buildings. The former St. Louis Club Building, at 3663 Lindell Boulevard, was designed in 1899 by Friedlander and Dillon, with Lawrence Ewald. Inspired by French Renaissance designs, the building has a raised basement of rusticated limestone and a high-pitched mansard roof. The front facade has a tripartite organization (the central projecting block displays Ionic columns) and a corbelled entablature. Flanking sections have tall casement windows with limestone surrounds, and ornamental wall dormers.

Classical Revival Style

Classical Revival style buildings were favored by many social clubs in the early 20th century. The Classic Revival style returned to the traditional elements of columns, pediments and entablatures but applied them to monumental buildings of comparatively severe design. The Scottish Rite Cathedral, at 3633 Lindell Boulevard, was built in 1924 from plans by William B. Ittner. The limestone building has massive, smooth wall surfaces broken only by string courses and a range of Ionic columns centered on the primary facade. Windows are deeply recessed into the facade.

Egyptian Revival Style

Fraternal organizations favored exotic Revival styles which personified the mystery of their ceremonies and rituals. The Masons in particular were attracted to the Egyptian Revival style, since they traced their origins to the builders of the Pyramids. Usually these Revival designs are based only loosely on the original architecture they emulate.

The former Mount Moriah Masonic Hall, at 3625 North Garrison Avenue, constructed in 1903, is an Egyptian Revival building. The front elevation of the buff brick structure has a central entry, framed by two pyramidal columns that rise the full height of the three-story building. The three window bays created by the columns have multi-light windows and interrupt the projecting cornice. Wings of the side elevations have banks of multiple windows under transoms, and bracketed cornices. At each corner, heads of Pharaohs are mounted in bas-relief. The building is now a church.

Neo-Classic Revival Style

Buildings of the Neo-Classic Revival were generally public buildings, and were based upon the same Greek prototypes as those of the earlier Greek Revival period, but they are usually larger in scale. Appearing from the late 19th century to about 1915, Neo-Classic Revival buildings are simpler in ornament then Beaux-Art structures, with which they were concurrent. Classic Revival structures have lintels rather than arches, pedimented porticos, and large expanses of unrelieved wall surface. The Tuscan Temple, home to the Masonic Lodge No. 360, was designed by Albert Groves in 1908. Despite its name, the building is a large-scale replica of a Doric Temple, with prominent portico of six two-story columns. Set on a high base, the building has a wide central entry on the front facade in a classically-derived enframement.

Moderne Style

Because the City of St. Louis was almost completely developed by the early 20th century, the Moderne style gained scarcely a foothold in St. Louis City architectural design. It appeared occasionally in larger public buildings, and in several Masonic Lodges in the 1920's.

The former Lambskin Temple, at 1052-56 South Kingshighway, was constructed in 1927, from designs by Edward F. Nolte, who was a Mason. The building has a stepped facade with central slightly projecting section of polychromatic multi-colored brick and tile ornament in low relief. Three double entries are united by a marble surround. Centered on the front facade is a Moderne version of the traditional portico, composed of narrow vertical windows with decorative grillwork, punctuated by colorful pilasters, carrying a flat, stylized entablature.

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