Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Distance Road Trip Part 3

This is the last of the St. Louis, MO posts. But, no trip to the city would be complete without at journey out to Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair. Not only the site of the fair that introduced both the waffle cone and hamburger, the park's grandeur is such that it is 500 acres larger that New York's Central Park!
The Fair Pavilion, Zoo,and Missouri Museum are great, but the art museum, called the SLAM, St. Louis Art Museum , is definitely the queen of the park. Here are a few of my favorites from the exhibits:
Rembrandt Self Portrait




Van Gogh


When you tire of paintings, go to the lower level of the museum for

Modern Arts and Crafts

This laminated wooden sculpture dates back to the 1800's

A Hindu Relic

An Egyptian Mummy

An Art Deco Tea Set

A Mix of burnt newspaper and broken glass, modern art, no doubt!

You can see just about anything at the SLAM, and by the way...it's free!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy National Train Day!

Today, May 9th is National Train Day and to celebrate here are a few photos from the Transportation Museum in St. Louis. The museum includes a large collection of train cars of all types, a small automobile collection, a tugboat and one DC 3. But, today its all about trains.

The C&IM was never a large railroad stretching a little over 100 miles in length at its largest.

"The Cotton Belt Route" was organized on January 15, 1891, although it had its origins in a series of short lines founded in Tyler, Texas, in 1877 that connected northeastern Texas to Arkansas and southeastern Missouri.

General Motors built not only automobiles, but also train engines and busses.

The Pullman Company developed the sleeping car which carried his name into the 1980s. The labor union associated with the company, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was one of the most powerful African-American political entities of the 20th century, many surviving porters were honored today for National RR Day.

Burlington Route served a large area, including extensive trackage in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and through subsidiaries Colorado and Southern Railway, Fort Worth and Denver Railway, and Burlington-Rock Island Railroad, New Mexico and Texas.

Another example of the Pullman sleeping car. These cars were featured in several movies during the 1930's, 40's, and 50's.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (reporting mark CBQ) was a railroad that operated in the Midwestern United States. Commonly referred to as the Burlington or as the "Q."

From the 1930s until 1989 the Budd Company was a leading manufacturer of stainless steel streamlined passenger rolling stock for a number of railroads. This is the Budd "Silver Spoon" dining car.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from several smaller Virginia railroads begun in the 19th century.

Gulf Mobile & Ohio engines and passenger cars were featured in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night.

The "Abe Lincoln" ran between Chicago and St. Louis on the B&O's subsidiary Alton Railroad. The train later passed to the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and then finally to Amtrak, which retained the name until 1978. Service between Chicago and St. Louis is now known by the umbrella term "Lincoln Service".

General American Tank Car Corporation was one of the largest companies to build and lease specialty cars to railroads.

The Milwaukee Railroad, often called the North Shore Line, was an interurban railroad line that operated between Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, until its abandonment in 1963.

Can anyone explain this sign to me, so I can explain it to my teenage son! It does seem to be good parental advice.

This is a giant snow blower car. The deisels were used to spin the snow blades while other engines pushed it along.

Finally, one more from the Transportation Museum, we couldn't leave without seeing the $100,000.00 Bobby Darrin car, a one-of-a-kind custom car designed by Detroit clothing designer Andy Di Dia in 1953 and completed in 1960.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Long Distance Road Trip ~ St. Louis Part 2

This isn't your father's tourist spot! The St. Louis river front offers plenty of "touristy" things to do. There is the Arc and Gateway Museum (great) and the riverbout casino(not so much. But, along the river you'll find some of the oldest traces of early St. Louis in the old warehouse district.

Train tressels crossing from the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. Three levels of tracks run along the river front.

Union Electric Light and Power Company - Ashley Street Powerhouse
An enormously-scaled generating station, whose Classical detailing stands in surreal contrast to the rusting industrial accoutrements projecting beyond its pilasters and false pediments.

Brick Streets in the LaCede's Landing area are reminents of the oldest part of St. Louis.

Just what is a "Star Blood" brick?

Streets are marked with heavy steel signs embedded into the sidewalk. This is the street closest to the river in LaCede's Landing. I guess they seldom have anyone stealing these babies.

This is the Beck & Corbitt Iron Company dating back to 1875.

Warehouse Number 3 of the D & E Company, more St. Louis warehouses are viewable at Built St. Louis.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Long Distance Road Trip ~ St. Louis Part 1

At this year's Spring Break, rather than "headin' down to Padre" or "Doing Disney for the umteenth time," we took out the map and drew a one day drive arc on the map. After considering all the possibilities, we decide to head North to St. Louis, "Gateway to the West", for a trip containing history and culture. As the "Gateway," transportation has always played an important role in the history of this city. So one of our first stops was the historic Union Station, located on Market Street in downtown.

The architecture of the station is an eclectic mix of Romanesque styles. The exterior details are a combination of both Richardsonian Romanesque tradition and French Romanesque or Norman style. In fact, architect, Theodore Link, modeled the grandiose Union Station after Carcassone, a walled, medieval city in southern France. The station's clock tower rises 280 feet high and is one of the skylines most distictive landmarks.

Market Street Entrance at night.

Grand Hall (Marriott Hotel Lobby), below is a 1909 postcard of the lobby:

Allegorical Window (above) is a hand-made stained glass window with hand-cut Tiffany glass strategically positioned above the Station's main entryway. The window features three women representing the main U.S. train stations during the 1890s -- New York, St. Louis and San Francisco.

Detail with Old Courthouse and "Miss St. Louis."

The Gothic Hall Ceiling

The old Union Station Movie Theater.

The Train Shed, 11.5 acres of sweeping arches, was the largest single-span train shed ever constructed. It once covered the greatest number of train tracks (32) more than any other station in the nation. Today, in addition to housing Hard Rock Cafe, a Landry's Seafood, and the guest rooms for the Marriott, the shed also houses an entertainment mall.