Friday, March 4, 2016

Vintage photos of St. Louis from 1904

Saint Louis has a rich, vibrant history that fascinates both its visitors and its residents. The city recently celebrated its 250th anniversary. It was founded in 1764 by Pierre Lacl├Ęde and Auguste Chouteau.

St. Louis City Hall in the early 1900's
Many of our guests ask why our bed and breakfast is named "Napoleon's Retreat" (see our first blog post if you're curious!) and inquire as to whether Napoleon ever stayed here. Napoleon never set foot on American soil, but he did sell Missouri to the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1800 to fund his wars in Europe.

It surprises some folks to hear that St. Louis was the first U.S. city to host the Olympics in 1904 -- beating out the bid of our rival city, Chicago. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair was also held in 1904. The impressive bird cage at the St. Louis zoo was built for the World's Fair. Construction of the "Palace of Fine Art", modeled after the Roman Baths of Caracalla, was timed to be completed before the 1904 World's Fair. It's now known as the St. Louis Art Museum.

Union Station in 1904
When we first moved to St. Louis in 2007, we were impressed by its stunning architecture. We'd never seen so much brick! We now advise our guests to watch their steps while walking through downtown, as we often find ourselves looking up at the amazing architectural details instead of noticing when we're stepping off of a curb. Many of the buildings downtown date back to the early 1900's. It's surprising to see these old, intricately designed buildings now juxtaposed with modern architecture throughout our fair city.

If you are fascinated by the photos shared here, visit this website to view more of St. Louis as it looked in the early 1900's, with its dirt roads and horse-drawn carriages.
Better yet, plan a visit to St. Louis and see these gorgeous buildings for yourself!
Washington Avenue west from Eighth Street, 1903

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