Maplewood History: The Maplewood Hippodrome


Those two words together, Maplewood and Hippodrome, just seem crazy, don’t they?  From Merriam-Webster, a hippodrome is an oval stadium for horse and chariot races in ancient Greece or an arena for equestrian performances.  These folks also state that the first known usage of the word was from 1585. If this is true then I have to wonder what did the ancient Greeks call it?

Never mind.  This is one of those subjects that I have meant to do a bit more research on but haven’t gotten around to it. So let me just put it out here and perhaps one of my hipster readers may be able to add some information to this Maplewood mystery.

As you read this article from a 1914 issue of the Maplewood Champion newspaper pay attention to the construction details.  This was a very substantial building.  I am curious as to how this came to be built in Maplewood and what happened to it? I would love to see a photograph of it.

Sorry the bottom sentence/s were inadvertently cut off.  Can you imagine 2500 people on the roof?  Amazing.

Looking at this segment of the Maplewood map from the 1909 Plat Book of St. Louis County, it appears that the most likely corner to have once held the Maplewood Hippodrome would be the NE one.


  1. Doug, something that large and important should have a picture somewhere. Not sure where you find it but tere should be a picture or a program of some of their entertainment.

    When I saw “Hippodrome” I thought we had a small zoo here in Maplewood.

    • Mark, I agree. Somewhere out there is a photo or article that will clear this up. We just have to keep looking. I’ve tried searching the Post-Dispatch archive but so far nothing.

      I like your idea that a Hippodrome might be something that is full of hippos. If that were true we could also have a Cameldrome or perhaps even a Monkeydrome. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Thanks Doug! Having trouble picturing a large building such as this at Roseland and Manchester. Was the Wedge building there in 1914? The big house north of Flying Tiger was built in 1914. The Acero building looks like it was built in the 20’s. Where do you plop this building down at that time in history?

    • Hey Ian, the Wedge was there in 1914. The only location that I can imagine might work would be the spot where the Flying Tiger motorcycle store is located today (The Reller Chevrolet Building). I have speculated in the past that maybe the Hippodrome burned or was not successful and had a very short life. I wonder if any part of the building on that spot now might once have been part of the Hippodrome. Here is a link to a previous post that had photos of the Wedge and the Reller Chevrolet building.

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