True Grit Brick

Sand was used to line the mold of these bricks and they are sublime. The color in each brick includes sepia, russet, spinach and crimson.
Click on the photos to enlarge.

Original mortar that looks as if it were pushed into place (by finger) to accommodate the little cervices in each brick. I find this immensely endearing.


My tea house

Sometimes I refer to it as The Veranda when I'm feeling southern goth.
I designed the tea house and had it built 5 years ago and stained the whole contraption the color of brick.

Every late Spring I invite choice neighbors over for an evening soiree. This year the deck boards are being freshly stained. This means cleaning the deck (14 x 6 feet) to a pristine surface before applying the stain.


Painted brick

I came across this tragedy while driving through Richmond Heights a few weeks ago. I actually had to make a U turn to gawk. It's a bright purple. Seriously, bright purple.


Tom Krepcio

Tom Krepcio lives in TGS and has his studio here. His medium is glass and his scholarship is extraordinary.
Click on the subject line to jettison to this blog.


Triple Arches - Mediterranean Revival

Going, going...
38 Olive

Any chance of what the city makes off those parking meters covers the cost of mowing those Lots?

I used a flash trying to illuminate the interior white glazed bricks.

The white glazed brick looks like it was covered with moss but its the remnants of pulled ivy. On the right side there's a rough brick course where a building was demoed.
Read about it here: http://vanishingstl.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html.

The east wall is a solid brick:

Across the lot, back view of a carriage house:


The Arts and Crafts Dream House

This house is located in Richmond Heights. I drove by thirteen years ago while trying to find a short cut to work. When I saw it I exhibited all the usual signs of awe: jaw dropping, eyes widening, along with a squeal of delight immediately followed by the sorrow of knowing I could only look and not touch for This is the House of My Dreams (except for the zoysia grass).

I was very late to work that day.

The porch is L shaped with two staircases. Check those chubby columns: exquisite!
I know some guy I dumped years ago reads this blog.
I will make it up to you via weekly phone call visitations if give me this house.

Matching garage

That 'hole' is actually a porch drain

Nifty pergola
One of the unique, cohesive (and now lost) architectural features in our cities were the gold and black numbers above the doors and many still remain. What interesting industry.

When I was a child we visited the family doctor in the Arcade Building downtown. All of the office doors had the same gold lettering and numbers. When office tenants changed, we'd see workers removing the lettering with a blade.

The gold numerals start to disappear west of Kingshighway in the South part of the city.

A means first floor:

Oops: home depot doors with tiny windows and no transoms.


3964 McDonald Ave

This is a reprint of my first blog post.
Shortly after taking this photo the house sold to a hooiser (or red neck if you're not native to St. Louis) contractor who removed the beveled glass because it 'looks old'.
It was a very bad day for me.
I took a brief tour of the house when he was remodeling. He removed the original quarter saw oak door and replace it with a door from home depot. Can you freaking believe that? He also ripped out the entire basement saying it was outdated. My dad and mom had built three rooms in the basement (loads of kids in that one bedroom bungalow) with plenty of storage space: built in closets, a book case and two drop down desk tops. Two toy chest were built into one wall with cushions on the top. The other side of the basement was the laundry, the scary furnace and a wall of closets with my parents clothing. It was there I found the suit my mother wore when she married in 1948 and my first introduction to vintage clothing.

Monday, July 10, 2006
3964 McDonald Ave
This is where it all began, 3964 McDonald Ave in the Tower Grove South area of St. Louis. My childhood home! I now live less than a mile from the one bedroom Craftsman bungalow.

I love the brass mailbox and beveled glass address plate. I used to polish it when I was a kid. It expands into a box inside the wall with an interior flap door. I would run my fingers over the surrounding brick, fascinated with the crevices and various values of color. Original black mortar.
I loves me some brick.


St. Louis Brick Confidential

Photographed at dusk these distinctive bricks exhibit a warm rust color that's framed with a subtle pink mortar. Used on the large scale of a building they serve to soften areas of brickwork and resonate with the landscape. The random addition of iron ore fines serve to rivet focus and create a volatile and active surface.

Contemporary brick can only aspire to mimic the exquisite and uniform construction of these bricks manufactured circa 1900 (if not earlier).

This summer I will begin working on a series of paintings:
St. Louis Brick Confidential.

OK, I admit the above was a mocking nod to Clement Greenberg and his fey gushing over Pollack's work. I still submit that Pollack leaned against a brick building (probably while taking one of his infamous public whizzes) took a close look at the bricks, and thought: HOT DAMN (I know I have).