The Michael

Michael, understanding the opportunity I opened the door to the building and entered. I was not shy but fascinated. I didn't close the door behind when I left in case you wanted to follow.
The Michael, located on Lawn in south city, has a welcoming and broad front patio.
  • The fleur-de-lis and fancy brickwork:
    And another glazed terra cotta ornamental detail:
    The side of the building faces the street and that's rare. Check out the faux bricked-in windows:
    I so appreciate the address engraved into the limestone 'window' apron.
  • Deskey Lamps

    Above photo of a Deskey in Potosi, MO by Darren Snow.
  • Conversation below via FB.

    Darren: Potosi doesn't go for those fancy "retro" streetlights like the ones in DeSoto and Hillsboro. These will do just fine. Can you identify this one, Christian?

    Christian: Yeah it's a Deskey lamp. I hate them. Very War of the World-ish. Which came first the invention of this lamp or the movie?

  • Christian Is there a prize?
  • Christian You know I love you, right?

    Darren: I would actually like to know when this design originated, as it's so supa-modern up top but has little nouveau curlicues at the base. And of course you love me; I light up your life! :)

    Andy: Clearly this is a product of the Bauhaus, around 1926.

    Christian: These were designed by Deskey in the 50s and flooded the country, Darren. They ruined my life when Mayor Cervantes had them installed in STL. I recall sitting on my front porch at 3964 McDonald and scowling at the removal of the old street lamps and the installation of these. The original street lamps remain in TGS Park. I loved them for their small pools of tender light.

  • Christian: No Andy they were designed by Donald Deskey late 50s. He also did other lamps.

    Andy: Yeah, I was just making random crap up. I do that sometimes to see if anybody believes me. Helpful in the technology industry.

    Darren: Christian, we are not awfully far apart in age, but it looks like The Reasons We Feel The Way We Do About Particular Streetlights originates in that gap. The Deskeys were so ubiquitous by '66 that they've always been the Default Streetlight to me. But if you had to watch these electric mantises from space replace the old-fashioned lamps that are now being reproduced and installed in business districts everywhere, I can certainly understand your distaste for them.

    Andy: However! Deskey DID attend the 1925 Exposition Internationale in Paris, which showcased many forms of Modernism, including the Bauhaus style. Hah!

    Darren: That may even explain the incongruously swirly, kinda Nouveau motif at the base of the pole!

  • 9/30/12

    Email/Photos from Lesel - AKA Creative Thing - in Calif.

    Always thinking of you...Christian. I spent Saturday walking around L.A. with old mail art pal, Michael Hyatt. I snagged these two photos for you. The art deco building is really stunning. I was only able to capture a glimpse of its beauty in this photo of the main entrance. The other one attracted me by the shadows of the fire escape. Love, C/T

    Masonry and The Moon

    Photos from the Harvest Moon party at the Deco Fortress last night which featured Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes - friend the band and The Deco Fortress on FB.


    More Fire Escapes

    Fire escapes on The Morrison Hotel in L.A. by friend and artists Leslie Caldera. Yes, that Morrison Hotel.
    Mondrian windows and encased escape on Lucas and Hunt:
    Two more via friend Darren Snow. Yes, that Darren Snow from Rocket 88:


    Hail STL

    I took these photos yesterday of a car on my block wondering if the padding was the car version of wearing a tin hat. About an hour later it occurred to me that this was an attempt to prevent hail damage. Which is plausible, we do get fist size hail.


    Gorgeous Brickwork and Back on the Roof

    This evening I was invited to The Deco Fortress for another rooftop soiree with my darlings Sarah Jane and Sam Meller. Ralph was there wearing one of Sam's City Renovators shirts.

    I always marvel at the brickwork on the building next door and its wrought iron gate.

    Ralph Meller:
    And a sunset with sunbeams:


    Crater Bricks - For Michael

    I've covered this city extensively and thought I'd never encounter another intriguing brick. On a recent drive around TGS with Andrew I spied this building from his car and excitedly gasped, Look at those bricks!

    Andrew laughed.

    Please. Look at these bricks with their exceptional design and range of soft color. Was some of that clay imported? Most likely it was treated before being fired. And why haven't I encountered these bricks any place else in STL?

    If you're a long time visitor here you know I invent names for bricks and these present as crater.

  • The building still retains the original stained black mortar with tiny flecks of feldspar and quartz and - gratefully - has not been repointed. Look closely and you'll see that some of the mortar had to be finger tooled into the 'craters' of the bricks.

    The building counts as a Triple Arch Alert post.

    For Michael who told me a fascinating story yesterday about the old tunnel under Sublette Ave.

  • 8/9/12

    So long, Gen!

    Another light goes out in the neighborhood with friend Gen Obata and family moving to the NW.


    1962 Bomb Shelter

    You know I sell vintage online via Etsy, right? I'm finally loading up my vintage catalogs and spotted this page on Pre-Fab Survival Shelters which were usually referred to as Bomb Shelters. Check out the trash can. Like who gets the job of hauling that out daily, little Chris? And how about those endorsements?


    Tinged Buff Bricks

    The heat has prevented scouting but I managed to capture these outstanding orange tinged buff bricks while roaming TGS with Andrew on our reporting graffiti tour.

    Former Lustron Service Station

    Located on Roger Pl. in Tower Grove South.