Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pullis Bros.

.
This is a post on the iron fence surrounding the beautiful abandoned building below. I don't know what its original purpose was. It looks like some sort of elegant institution. The facade seems to be in good repair despite the boarded up windows. There is a fairly new sign in front that says Intercommunity Housing Association, which must have been the last occupant. Their web site still lists this address. Maybe there is something going on inside. I hope so. We have already wasted so much of our architectural heritage.

For the locals, this in on Lafayette just east of Grand, facing I 44.

TOMORROW: Thursday Arch Series.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: someone I knew way back in college reads this blog and emailed me today with the following touching story about the history of the building. I am reprinting it with her permission, names deleted.

It breaks my heart to see today's photo; that building is the former Loretto Academy, once an upscale all girls high school run by the Sisters of Loretto. The word "Loretto" was painted in the arched windows over the door. In 1957, I was a first grader at Immaculate Conception School just down the street. After school I would walk up there and take piano lessons from the nuns. There was a huge auditorium just to the left of the entry and they had an ebony Steinway baby grand, which is what I learned to play on. I still have the recital program from that year. I can still picture the interior: gleaming terazzo floors for days--
My father had two teenage cousins who went to Loretto Academy, S. and M. S. was named May Queen in 1954, and yours truly was tapped to hold the ends of the queen's impossibly long train as she floated across the lawn to crown the Blessed Mother statue. The girls all dressed in pastel formal gowns, did a Maypole dance, the whole deal. I have some b&w photos of the event. That lawn seemed so vast...! Most of the girls, including S. and M., went on to Webster College, in faraway Webster Groves, also run by the nuns. Other than the Loretto-Hilton, Webster University seems to have no connection to the Sisters of Loretto any more.

As attendance dwindled in the early 60s, the Academy closed--the nuns ran a day care for a time, but I would bet they unloaded the property long ago.
If those walls could talk...! I would love to hear the seven year old K. tinkling away on that Steinway! That whole area was my childhood neighborhood until we moved to the suburbs in 1959. Just down Lafayette is Immaculate Conception Church, now closed, where my parents were married and where I was baptized. It is the most gorgeous church you can imagine--huge rose window, giant marble columns. It was the heart of the community at the time, just like in "The Bells of St. Mary's."

10 comments:

lewi14 said...

Interesting detail of the iron fence and an impressive building. Great shots.

cieldequimper said...

Beautiful, yes, impressive. I do hope that there really is something going on or about to go on.

Olivier said...

beau macro sur la première photo, fait bien ressortir les détails.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

This building certainly deserves to be reused. If there is not a new occupant, why not turn it in to artist studios, galleries and shops?

brattcat said...

This gorgeous iron fence exhibits many of the same colors as my knee at the moment. Looks much better on the fence.

Virginia said...

So carefully boarded up. I think there's hope for it B.
Looks like something on a college campus. Lovely! And I like the nice closeup of the fence.
V

U "R" Us said...

Lovely colors in there, especially the green in the metal with the green of the bushes.

Virginia said...

WEll that is a wonderful story. Don't you dare let them tear that place down !!
V

Louis la Vache said...

What a sad decline - symbolic, in some ways, of what has happened to St. Louis. From a population of over 850,000 in 1950 to around 350,000 today.

This fine old building should be saved. We don't want St. Louis looking like Detroit, but «Louis» fears much of it already does...

cieldequimper said...

All the more touching.