Architecture Historic Preservation Midtown

Granite Steps Throw the Sheldon Off Balance

by Michael R. Allen

The Sheldon Memorial in Midtown looks very different right now. One has to look closer and may have to conjure memory to figure out what is different, but the change is glaring: All of the limestone steps have been clad in red Missouri granite!

While this change may not seem big, it completely throws off the synergy between the steps and building. The pale Bedford limestone steps matched the limestone ornament on the building, designed by Louis Spiering and built in 1912. Use of the same material for the high decorative ornament and low functional steps indicated that all material choices were thoughtful and deliberate.

Now, the pinkish steps seem like an afterthought that just don’t quite match the building. There is something about the clash between the granite steps and the brown-toned bricks of the Sheldon that is disturbing.

(Thanks to Bill Seibert for the tip.)