Maplewood History: Who’ll Miss a Blue Art Glass Window?

I don’t know who owns the building at 7187 Manchester or when it was built but I’ve long thought it sported a pleasing well-balanced Art Deco facade.  I have photographed it many times in different seasons. 

No doubt images of it exist somewhere in the small mountain of slides I made during the Kodachrome era most of which will never be seen again.  The images I’ve made since I switched to digital in 2005 are easier to find.  Here are a few of them.

This image was made in January of 2006.  Note the awnings on the second floor windows.

This image was made in January of 2006. Note the awnings on the second floor windows.

In this photo taken in July 2007, one will notice that the second floor awnings have been removed.  I deliberately left the wires showing at the top of the picture.  won't everything look so much better when they are underground?

In this photo taken in July 2007, one will notice that the second floor awnings have been removed. I deliberately left the wires showing at the top of the picture. Won’t everything look so much better when they are underground?  Without the awnings we can get a better look at the beautiful blue art glass windows which unfortunately need a few panes replaced.

This is how everything looked in 2010 but I'm really just setting you up for the next photo.

This is how everything looked in 2010 but I’m really just setting you up for the next photo.

If you think you may have seen this one before, you are probably correct.  I ran it and the one prior in 2010 on the City of Maplewood's Facebook page.

If you think you may have seen this one before, you are probably correct. I ran it and the one prior in 2010 on the City of Maplewood’s Facebook page.

Now for the bad news.  see the damged terra cotta at the top of the photo.  that was no doubt done when the awnings  shown in the very first photo were installed.  But worse since this photo was taken the blue art glass windows have been replaced by an ordinary modern ones.

Now for the bad news. See the damaged terra cotta at the top of the photo. That was no doubt done when the awnings shown in the very first photo were installed.  But worse since this photo was taken the blue art glass windows have been replaced by ordinary modern ones.  How can this loss of historic detail be prevented?  I wish I knew.

 

5 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Who’ll Miss a Blue Art Glass Window?

  1. The stained glass windows on this building were probably removed by the owner, But many (most?) of the missing stained glass on old buildings, particularly vacant ones, is the work of thieves.

    The real criminals are the junk and antique dealers who knowing buy these stolen treasures.

    When was the last time you ever read that one of these dealers was prosecuted for receiving stolen property ? Like never ?

  2. I agree. How did this happen? Do you know who owns the building? It is SO sad!

  3. I think there used to be a ‘bow factory’ either the 2nd flr of the 7187 bldg, or perhaps the vanished neighbor bldg. Chuck Kennedy would know better than I. I do not remember the blue glass, but i was very little when the music store was next door.

    Doug, since you study the bldgs so carefully, i’m curious if there’s any significance to the diamond-shaped stone or brick accents? Are they just decorative or are they functional in some way? They’re widely used in Maplewood and South City. I’m wondering if they’re a signature of a particular builder.

    • Wanda, the ornament on this particular building is made of glazed terra cotta. It is fired clay like a brick with a glaze that has vitrified or turned to glass in the furnace. It and the basket weave pattern in the bricks are purely decorative. Other than the coping on the very top of the wall most of it serves no useful function. It sure is pretty though. Some builders or more likely architects have included signature details in their buildings but I doubt that you’re seeing any of that in this building.