South St. Louis

Three South Side Buildings

by Michael R. Allen

A few weeks ago Thomas Crone’s excellent The South Side of Luck posted a video of me talking about three south side buildings. Crone’s instructions: find “one that was interesting and safe; one that was interesting and undergoing some type of facelift; and one that was interesting and in danger of going away.”

After some thought and elimination of dozens of possibilities — ranging from City Hospital to that little abandoned stone house at Steins and Water streets — I chose the Avalon Theater (in danger), the St. Louis Hills Office Center (“some type of facelift” indeed) and a minor Harris Armstrong commission at 3524 Gravois (interesting).

All I did was talk; Crone was producer, Brandon McLaughlin did the audio, and director Tyler DePerro filmed it all. Although we dodged gloomy weather that seems hard to believe on this 100-degree day, the shoot is a neat little document. Check it out. The get more tales — some also told through moving pictures — of the city’s south side over at The South Side of Luck.

5 replies on “Three South Side Buildings”

I’ve been following yer work for years and I rarely disagree with you and the video is great.  However, I drive past 3524 Gravois all the time and, every time I do, I wish someone would rip that abortion of an airplane wing off of the front of that building; it has no business there.  I have no problem with any particular architectural style.  However, when they are fused together like that, there is something about it that makes me uneasy and bothered every time I see it.

I should add that I love the airplane wing.  It would go great as a freestanding structure in a park, or in some other public space.  It just doesn’t belong on that building, which is great in its own right.

Michael, how do you do it?  How do you so effortlessly and effectively articulate emotion, optimism, history and practical knowledge in every subject you discuss?  Great video– props to you and Thomas.  Great concept too.

MunchyBags:  I’m not so down on that wing’s current placement, but I respect your thoughts.

Jeff:  It only looks effortless.  Thanks!

Adam: Intriguing idea… I am trying to make an effort to do more video work here.

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