The dog walks my wife and I took in the spring of 2009 had the potential to be a bit more exciting than usual. Probably our most favorite route took us past the Sutton Loop park, often down Hazel to Maple. Then turning right on Arbor, we’d head back home along either Flora or Elm. That spring we favored Flora for the simple reason that there was a chance – a small one – that we’d run into George Clooney.
We never did but many of our neighbors saw him. If you lived in Maplewood then you couldn’t not be aware that they were filming the movie, “Up In The Air” where much of the action occurred at Sutton and Flora. I think most of the film shot in Maplewood was in (or just outside of) the Methodist church located there.
By doing a minimal bit of research, I was surprised to discover that it has been ten years since that film was made. I was also surprised to see how many actors were in the film that were unknown to me then but are familiar now. Actors such as Anna Kendricks, Zach Galifianakis, and J.K.Simmons. Sam Elliot (who I knew and like) was in it as well but I had completely forgotten that he was.
This is probably the longest lead-in that is completely unrelated to the subject of the post that I have ever done. The subject is historic aerial photographs and the now demolished buildings they record. The idea came from a comment reader Lynn made to my last post. She wrote, “The K-Mart development, with the creepy, dark, below ground garage, removed an entire street: Arthur Avenue, where I grew up. It was sad to see the neat old shops torn down with their interesting facades, similar to what are still seen on the south side of Manchester.”
This earlier post contains a lot of useful information on this subject but none on the movie. Sorry.
Maplewood History: What the Heck Happened to the North Side of our Business District? Part 2
This mid 1950’s photograph was made by Joseph Granich for the St. Louis County Observer where he was the staff photographer. Some of the homes on Arthur Avenue are visible at the top. Newcomers might note that Oakview Terrace doesn’t line up with Marshall. Us old timers still remember that offset which existed for a long time after the buildings on the SW corner were lost.
Perhaps this detail will show up a little better? On my computer it looks about the same size though it is higher resolution. Oh well. This is the complete Arthur Avenue from beginning to end. At the top right automobiles parked along Lohmeyer can be seen. The two large homes at the bottom right were on Oakview Terrace.
Hopefully this will appear a little larger. Those two homes, surrounded by parking lots, are all that still exists in the mid 1950’s at that end of what was most likely once a fully populated residential street.
This detail, from the lower left corner, shows that the parking area behind the stores was unpaved. Citizen’s Park now occupies the space where the three lost buildings were once situated.
This is a heartbreaker. The #1 Lost building was this gem. It was located until the 1970’s debacle on the SW corner of Marshall and Manchester.
Same building on an enlargement of a post card about 1916. This image and the one prior are courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
And here it is again in an advertisement by the man who most likely built it. From the 1896 Directory of St. Louis County. Collection of the Headquarters Branch of the STL County Library reference room. Can we all now agree we shouldn’t lose anymore of these treasures?
The #1 Lost building is on the left in this image from the 1970’s. The #2 Lost building from the aerial photo can also be seen. The building just past it still exists and is occupied by Larder & Cupboard. Not visible on the aerial image is the small alley infill building housing a barber shop. Another one of these infill buildings still exists just west of the Larder & Cupboard. It recently held the Sole Survivor Leather Shop (which now has moved to the old Katz Drug building on the NW corner of Sutton and Manchester). Prior to the leather shop it held a longtime Maplewood business fondly remembered by many residents – Dreamland Shoes.
A 1915 postcard image of a portion of the #2 Lost building.
The back of the prior photo. If you are sharp you’re thinking it is not in the west 1/2 of the Kennedy Brownie building. This may not be a mistake. Check your copy of Wanda Kennedy Kuntz’s excellent book – “Kennedy Music”. If I remember correctly (this is a big if) Kennedy Music was located in both of those buildings. If you don’t have Wanda’s book, why not? Google it or try the Book House.
Same building obviously. I think the prior image is the earliest. Notice how the “S” is now missing from the top right window.
This is the only image that I know of the #3 Lost building. All five previous photos are courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
Let’s finish this post off with another closeup of some of the homes on Arthur Avenue. Was one of these yours, reader Lynn?
This image added later to enhance Mr. Smith’s recollection in the comments section. The #1 Lost building shorn of its crest rail, slate roof and finials. Undated image. My guess would be 1973 or so just before these buildings all came down. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
I am getting many (well, a few) questions about the availability of my second book of Maplewood history titled appropriately enough, “Maplewood History – Volume Two”. All I can tell you is it is at the printer. I’m waiting on a sample hard copy and a sample soft cover copy as well. Once I see how everything fits when it’s bound we’ll be ready to go. I hoped to have copies available for my presentation at our Library on September the 19th. But it is looking doubtful.
Much thanks to everyone who contributes, images, information,comments or whatever. Couldn’t do this without you. My apologies that it sometimes takes me awhile to get back to some of you. If you’ve submitted a request and I haven’t done anything or responded, submit it again. It probably got lost in the shuffle.
I hope you are enjoying these last days of summer. I am.
Doug Houser 8/28/2019