The occasionally unruly crowd that follows this space has reacted very positively to the first installment of Gerry Vazis’ images from her red album. There are many more to take a look at so let’s try it again.
I don’t need to remind my regular readers that we are seeing these images courtesy of Mary Piles, who curates a large collection of historic images for her employer, Citizens National Bank of Maplewood and Greater St. Louis (6 locations). Thank you, Mary.
Gerry has labeled this one, “1955 The Lion’s Club Easter Egg Hunt.” The date was April 1. All of the buildings survive except the one with the white gable directly behind the Lion’s Club sign. The turreted one at the corner of Hazel and Sutton has been so often misidentified as our first city hall that I did a post about it.Three City Halls and One Case of Mistaken Identity.
This very interesting image was made on the same day as the one prior, April 1, 1955. This must be the Easter parade. The celebrants are headed south on Sutton having just passed Maple. Harper’s Pharmacy can be seen at the far left. All of the other buildings in the image have very nearly disappeared. The first two houses on Maple and the brick-fronted shops have been replaced by an apartment building and a parking lot behind it. I know what you’re thinking. I’d trade that apartment building in a heartbeat to have those fine homes and storefronts back. The two buildings with the addition to the front that are occupied by the Maplewood Cycle Company still exist. The front addition does not. The one on the far right covered with white stucco was the office of William Koester. (Correction: Koester’s office was in the small building with the hipped roof not the one with the white stucco.) The Maplewood Bicycle shop is still very successful. It has moved twice since this image was made and is now located at 7534 Manchester.
This interesting little building was at 7172 Manchester, adjacent to the Maplewood Theater. I believe it was lost to fire not all that long ago. Gerry took this shot on May 27, 1957. She titled it, “Shops Across from the City Limits Loop.”
This image of the Contemporary Kitchens store was made by Gerry on May 4, 1957. From the address, 7205 Manchester, the location was in the Swink Block (covered in the last post).
“1958 Vazis Gets a Facelift.” The image was made on February the 1st. The image is from 1958 and there is a ’58 Chevy and a ’58 Ford parked right in front. You Vazis out there ought to like this one. It was a shame to lose that store.
May 4 “1958 Shamrock Furniture (Used to be Zimmerman’s Dept.).” Look at this building closely. You’ll be seeing more of it. On the far left, just the western edge of the fabulous Browne building can be seen with the lit terra cotta torch/candles on top.
This building facade I have liked ever since I stated paying attention to such things. How could you possibly improve on this shot with a ’57 Chevy in front? I had one of those, too. I did a post on the building titled, ‘Who’ll Miss a Blue Art Glass Window?” Gerry or possibly Adolph made this image on August 20, 1962. The image is called, “20th Century Barber Shop (Many barber shops through the years), (Now Clete’s Barber Shop).
This image was also made on August 20, 1962. It is titled, “Looking Toward the Loop From McCausland Area.” The loop would be the Yale Loop just past Vazis on the right. Additionally written on pencil on this page is, “Olympic Television and Park Furniture, 905. The building housing Park Furniture is now known as the Majorette and is an event space. Believe it or not there are some younger folks who read these posts of mine. For them, 905 was a chain of liquor stores.
This image called, “Stores Off The Loop, A fire would later destroy several of the stores.” was also made on August 20, 1962. Kennedy Music was located here when this image was made. If you haven’t seen Wanda Kennedy Kuntz’s book titled “Kennedy Music”, you owe it to yourself to get a copy. This whole building has not survived.
The beloved Maplewood Theater building. Also taken on August 20, 1962, one of the Vazis typed, “The Maplewood Theater with new Marquee.” Wow! That’s huge. The approximate date of the installation of the last marquee. I have looked a long time for pieces of information like that. As you may already know from my book or posts, those letters that spell MAPLEWOOD have been restored and are in the city garage. The theater may never come back but I truly hope the marquee will be restored some day. The Maplewood Theater – While We’re On The Subject.
Remember the Shamrock building? This is one of those images that causes you to do a double take. It appears that only the facade and the side walls are in existence. What could possibly have happened? According to Gerry, “1962 The Building of the Drive-up windows for People’s Bank.” The sign on the plywood says, “Watch for Drive-up Windows Completely Under Roof.” The People’s Bank building has survived. The Drive-up windows? Nope.
This article ran in the St Louis Globe-Democrat on June 26, 1961. I guess that explains what happened.
Here is another shot of the fire. This image is not from the Vazis album. It is courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.
Wouldn’t you think that catastrophic fire was about the worst thing that could happen to a building? Well, it was about the worst but not the worst. The same building had three stories before this fire on February 9, 1936.
I have about nine more images of this 1936 fire but I’m getting off the subject which is the Vazis Red Album. I think I’ve run all of these images of this frozen disaster in the past but I’m not exactly sure under what title. If I find it later, I’ll link to it here.
There is just one more image from the Red Album that you haven’t seen. Here it is.
“The City Limits Loop” also taken on August 20, 1962. The large building has disappeared. The streetcar/bus pavilion has survived and is slated for restoration, I think. The appliance store on the far right has disappeared but at least part of that balustrade above the showroom window has survived. I have wondered what that went with. Finally in the lower right hand corner is an early Plymouth Valiant adding its avant garde looks to this otherwise boxy scene.
That does it for the Vazis Red Album. You have now seen all of the images it contains. What you haven’t seen is all of the images that Mary Piles has shared with me. I will run them in the near future but I have several other posts to get out before I do. How about a big hand for Mary. These images are great.
We are living through a very difficult time. I truly hope that if things haven’t worked out real well for some of you that you can find the help you need. Keep your chin up and don’t hesitate to tell anyone about whatever predicament you may find yourself in. I think help is out there and some of you may need help to find it. Remember this isn’t your fault. Good luck.
Doug Houser August 11, 2020