by Michaela Burwell-Taylor
“The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps…every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.” – Italo Calvino
Chouteau’s Landing, a quiet industrial district south of downtown St. Louis, seems to have been frozen in time. Known to many St. Louisans as a place to park before attending a Cardinals game, this area currently contains a handful of existing businesses. This urban landscape is defined by a once thriving river industry that was the center of the St. Louis economy. A landscape of elevated railways that weave their way through the old industrial complexes and the towering concrete interstate columns, which have detached this area from the rest of the city. The original function of these buildings has long since passed, yet something remains. Something special lingers in Chouteau’s Landing and the seven historic buildings that comprise the former Crunden-Martin Manufacturing Company complex are a large part of that something.