Tag Archives: Lucas Place

Lucas Place Walking Tour

Join the staff of the Camp­bell House Muse­um for a walk­ing tour of the 1875 neigh­bor­hood of Lucas Place, St. Louis’ first pri­vate place and an enclave of Gild­ed Age wealth and nine­teenth cen­tu­ry ele­gance. Span­ning from 13th to 16th Streets in Down­town St. Louis, par­tic­i­pants will walk a street once lined with expan­sive homes, today the site of a resur­gent ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry busi­ness dis­trict. Tours will begin and end at the Camp­bell House Muse­um.

Please call 314–421‑0325 to pur­chase tick­ets. Camp­bell House mem­bers are free, but require a reser­va­tion.

Free park­ing avail­able on the YMCA lot imme­di­ate­ly west of the Muse­um.

Lucas Place Walking Tour

Join the staff of the Camp­bell House Muse­um for a walk­ing tour of the 1875 neigh­bor­hood of Lucas Place, St. Louis’ first pri­vate place and an enclave of Gild­ed Age wealth and nine­teenth cen­tu­ry ele­gance. Span­ning from 13th to 16th Streets in Down­town St. Louis, par­tic­i­pants will walk a street once lined with expan­sive homes, today the site of a resur­gent ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry busi­ness dis­trict. Tours will begin and end at the Camp­bell House Muse­um.

Please call 314–421‑0325 to pur­chase tick­ets. Camp­bell House mem­bers are free, but require a reser­va­tion.

Free park­ing avail­able on the YMCA lot imme­di­ate­ly west of the Muse­um.

Missouri Park and Lucas Place

The small park behind the St. Louis Pub­lic Library is called Lucas Park in hon­or of the fam­i­ly that once owned the land.  In about 1810 Judge J.B.C. Lucas pur­chased a large par­cel of land that includes today’s Lucas Park.

In 1850 the Lucas fam­i­ly devel­oped a new res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood on their land, which they not sur­pris­ing­ly named Lucas Place. From its con­cep­tion this neigh­bor­hood was intend­ed to be very dif­fer­ent with wide build­ing set­backs and deed restric­tions ban­ning com­mer­cial activ­i­ties. The new street Lucas Place was also off­set 50-feet from the city street grid.

MoPark1875

Mis­souri Park and Lucas Place, from “Pic­to­r­i­al St. Louis”, 1875

A defin­ing fea­ture of Lucas Place was a new green space called Mis­souri Park, which the Lucas fam­i­ly had deed­ed to the city in 1854. Mis­souri Park was bound­ed by 13th, Olive, 14th and St. Charles streets. The park stretched across Lucas Place pre­vent­ing through traf­fic into the neigh­bor­hood and was a key ele­ment in defin­ing the neigh­bor­hood as “a place apart”. By 1875 Mis­souri Park boast­ed, “an iron foun­tain, 116 bench­es, 368 shade trees, 277 shrubs, and was sur­round­ed by a wood­en pick­et fence.”  It was also the first park in St. Louis to have gas light­ing along its path­ways.

As com­mer­cial devel­op­ment began to encroach on Lucas Place in the ear­ly 1880s, Mis­souri Park was select­ed as the site for St. Louis’ grand­est build­ing of the peri­od, the Music and Expo­si­tion Hall. Com­plet­ed in 1884, this mas­sive build­ing was St. Louis’ first con­ven­tion cen­ter and encom­passed the entire 4‑acre foot­print of the old Mis­souri Park.  Mea­sur­ing 146,000 square feet the Exhi­bi­tion Hall host­ed the 1888 and 1904 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tions and the 1896 Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion. The Music Hall sat 4,000 and was the first per­ma­nent home to the Saint Louis Sym­pho­ny.

Expo1

Music and Expo­si­tion Hall, cir­ca 1890

The Music and Expo­si­tion Hall was demol­ished in 1907 hav­ing been replaced by a larg­er and new­er St. Louis Col­i­se­um. The site was then select­ed for the new St. Louis Pub­lic Library, built with a $1 mil­lion gift from Andrew Carnegie. Because the Library was designed to use only two-thirds of the old expo­si­tion site the north­ern part of the old Mis­souri Park was restored to green space and renamed Lucas Park. At the same time Locust Street was cut through the space between the new Library and the restored park. When the street was cut through it result­ed in the unusu­al curve at 13 and Locust streets, which can still be seen today.  By 1918 Lucas Park had been plant­ed with “forty-five thou­sands shrubs and flower plants…set out in artis­ti­cal­ly designed beds” and was one of the finest parks in St. Louis.  After 1950, all the old res­i­den­tial build­ings in the vicin­i­ty of Lucas Park had van­ished (except for the Camp­bell House) as down­town was trans­form­ing into an exclu­sive­ly com­mer­cial dis­trict.

Like this post? Look for the new exhib­it Lucas Place: The Lost Neigh­bor­hood of St. Louis’ Gold­en Age open­ing March 22 at the Land­marks Asso­ci­a­tion of St. Louis. Exhib­it made pos­si­ble through a grant from the Mis­souri Human­i­ties Coun­cil.

LucasPark1915

Lucas Park and the St. Louis Pub­lic Library, from a cir­ca 1920 post­card.

Locust Street Architectural Walking Tour

Two boys work­ing at the Inland Type Foundry at 12th (now Tuck­er) and Locust. Pho­to cour­tesy of the Library of Con­gress.

Have you ever tak­en a close look at some of the build­ings as you’ve cruised down Locust Street? We have some spec­tac­u­lar hid­den trea­sures you’ve prob­a­bly nev­er noticed, and we’re going to host a walk­ing tour next month to give you the inside scoop on some of them. And, in keep­ing with Camp­bell hos­pi­tal­i­ty, we’ll end the tour with the usu­al refresh­ments and cama­raderie.

Locust Street Archi­tec­tur­al Walk­ing Tour, Sat­ur­day Octo­ber 27, 1–3 PM

Join Camp­bell House Muse­um’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Andy Hahn for a walk­ing tour of notable build­ings in the Down­town West sec­tion of Locust Street. The group will begin at Camp­bell House (1508 Locust Street), and see the archi­tec­tur­al high­lights on a 6‑block walk. The group will go inside the Leather Trades Artists Lofts and we will receive a behind-the-scenes peek at the staff-only areas of the his­toric Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street), where the tour will end. One deli­cious Schlafly beer is includ­ed in your tick­et price. The tour begins at 1 PM in the Camp­bell House Muse­um gar­den.

Tour is lim­it­ed to 25 guests to accom­mo­date some tight spaces at the Tap Room, so make your reser­va­tion ear­ly!

Tick­ets are $30, or $25 for Camp­bell House Muse­um and Land­marks Asso­ci­a­tion mem­bers. Call Camp­bell House at 314/421‑0325 to make your reser­va­tion.

Upcom­ing

  • Jan­u­ary 21, 2013: Fundrais­er to repub­lish Vir­ginia Camp­bel­l’s cook­book at Riv­er City Casi­no. Chef John John­son is going to cook a mul­ti-course meal with recipes from Vir­gini­a’s cook­book. 
  • March 2013:  Restora­tion tour of Camp­bell House. We’ll show you the research and work involved in the exten­sive 5‑year restora­tion. You’ll get to see fas­ci­nat­ing pic­tures of the work in progress, sam­ples of mate­ri­als used (includ­ing car­pet and wall­pa­per), and a vis­it to the attic, offices and sprawl­ing base­ment.

Please check the blog, Face­book and our Twit­ter feed for the offi­cial announce­ments with final­ized dates and times on both of these events. Have a great (short!) week, every­one!

Urban Exploring » St. Louis Transit Company Electrical Substation

4,000 horse­pow­er. Yep, that was a 4 with three zeros after it.

Get your atten­tion? The build­ing just west of us at 1711 Locust was the St. Louis Tran­sit Com­pa­ny’s Elec­tri­cal Sub­sta­tion, and for the unini­ti­at­ed, “elec­tri­cal sub­sta­tion” trans­lates to “big giant bat­tery” for the trol­ley sys­tem. It was sup­pos­ed­ly the largest in the world at the time, and 4,000 hors­es was how much two floors worth of bat­ter­ies held. The St. Louis Tran­sit com­pa­ny bought the prop­er­ty in 1903 and built this struc­ture to house an intri­cate sys­tem of bat­ter­ies and sev­en trans­form­ers to cre­ate and store the elec­tric­i­ty need­ed to sup­port the trol­ley sys­tem in time for the increased traf­fic dur­ing the World’s Fair in 1904.

On two sep­a­rate vis­its, Pat McK­ay of Hil­lik­er Cor­po­ra­tion was nice enough to meet us over there to babysit super­vise us while we glee­ful­ly inspect­ed the years-vacant build­ing whose sole pur­pose was that of the sub­sta­tion. It’s old and dilap­i­dat­ed, but it was beau­ti­ful. Take a look for your­self:

The space is beau­ti­ful with mag­nif­i­cent nat­ur­al light, but clear­ly it’s in need of a lot of TLC. The two base­ments that housed the bat­tery units were down­right chilly on the 80º morn­ing we vis­it­ed, and the group’s con­sen­sus was that it would make a per­fect brew­ery or wine cel­lar. If you want to give Camp­bell House a dan­ger­ous­ly-close water­ing hole, the his­toric build­ing — com­plete with 35′ ceil­ings and almost 35,000 square feet of space — can be yours for a pid­dly $245,000.

To learn more about the his­to­ry of the build­ing (includ­ing the peo­ple who lived in the Lucas Place home that occu­pied this spot before the sub­sta­tion was built), you can read Tom’s research notes here:
(Note: In the body of the notes, it men­tions the build­ing was used as a night­club in the 1990s. We could see no evi­dence of this.)

1711 LUCAS PLACE

Charles Fred­er­ick Bates (b. 24 Nov 1853 – d. 05 Jul 1936) (1889 – 1895)

– St. Louis city direc­to­ries list Charles F. Bates at 1711 Lucas Place begin­ning 1889 until 1895. Pri­or to this, in 1888, he was list­ed at 1012 Dol­man. In 1896, he is list­ed at 4325 West­min­ster Place. Clas­si­fied ads start­ed in 1896 ref­er­enc­ing 1711 Locust St., indi­cat­ing it was now being rent­ed to board­ers.

– Charles F. Bates was born 24 Nov 1853 at Erie PA. He came to St. Louis in the lat­ter part of the 1860s and was engaged in the tobac­co man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness. The St. Louis city direc­to­ries list him as book­keep­er with the Catlin Tobac­co Co. He mar­ried Ann “Nan­cy” Beale Maf­fitt (b. 03 Sep 1857 – d. 03 Jul 1928) on 15 Jan 1889. They were the par­ents of William Maf­fitt Bates, who mar­ried Frances Gar­neau; Julia, wife of Arthur C. Hiemenz; and Nan­cy Maf­fitt Bates (b. 15 Dec 1895 – d. 22 Jan 1969), the wife of William Geof­frey Kim­ball (b. 08 Sep 1888 – d. 05 Nov 1958).[1]

– Jan­u­ary 1889: Charles Bates was mar­ried yes­ter­day to Miss Nan­cy Maf­fitt, youngest daugh­ter of Mrs. Julia Chouteau Maf­fitt, the cer­e­mo­ny tak­ing place last evening at the ele­gant Maf­fitt man­sion, on Lucas Place. The Maf­fitts are promi­nent Roman Catholics, but Mr. Bates being a Protes­tant this could not be a church cer­e­mo­ny, though the parish priest, Father Brady of St. John’s Church, Six­teenth Street, offi­ci­at­ed, the mar­riage tak­ing place at 6 o’clock, with only the fam­i­ly and rel­a­tives in atten­dance, fol­lowed by a recep­tion from 6:30 to 10 o’clock, to which about 300 guests were invit­ed. The house was ele­gant­ly dec­o­rat­ed with plants, the splen­did spa­cious­ness of the halls and depart­ments per­mit­ting the free use of lux­u­ri­ant trop­i­cal plants with grace­ful results. In the music hall, which is of the noblest pro­por­tions, palms and dwarf orange trees with the gold­en fruit hang­ing on the glossy boughs, were effec­tive­ly dis­posed in the spaces between the buf­fets and cab­i­nets, the hall rack and set­tees that are part of the fur­nish­ing of this baro­nial-like hall whose glo­ries are par­tial­ly reflect­ed in a great mir­ror under the stair­way. Rare bric-a-brac and beau­ti­ful pic­tures bright­en the walls, and the four rich­ly draped door­ways open into the spa­cious apart­ments on either side. The mar­riage cer­e­mo­ny took place in the long draw­ing room on the west side, the bridal par­ty stand­ing with­in the leafy recess formed by palms and rub­ber plants at the north end, with the lace cur­tained win­dows and the mir­ror between as a back­ground. The bride had but one atten­dant, her niece, Miss Jane Maf­fitt, and Mr. Bates was attend­ed by Mr. Dun­can Mel­li­er. The bride’s gown brought from Paris, was of white satin, as rich as the loom ever pro­duced, with a lus­ter as of sil­ver in the gleam­ing folds of its plain falling skirt and sweep­ing train, flecked with the light shad­ows of price­less point lace, its designs as del­i­cate as frost work on cob­webs. The bodice made in the high French fash­ion for wed­ding gowns, was also trimmed with the beau­ti­ful lace, and the bridal veil of tulle was deeply bor­dered with point lace, won­drous­ly fine and pro­por­tion­ate­ly cost­ly. The bridal bou­quet was of white orchids and ros­es. Miss Jane Maf­fitt, the brides­maid, a daugh­ter of Mr. Chouteau Maf­fitt and not yet a debu­tante, wore a very sim­ple dress of white tulle over a slip of white silk and car­ried white ros­es in her hand. Mrs. Maf­fitt, in plain ele­gant black toi­let. Miss Emi­ly, gray bro­cad­ed satin with long train, round cut bodice with white silk pleat­ed full cor­sage, with beau­ti­ful point d’Augleterre lace… Mrs. Hen­ry Hitch­cock chap­er­oned her daugh­ter, Miss Hitch­cock, the debu­tante, in white and laven­der gauze… The sup­per, served by Spilk­er, was ele­gant, and the pro­fu­sion of finest ros­es in every nook and cor­ner and in all apart­ments was remark­ably notice­able. The man­tels were banked with ros­es and fringed with grass­es and ferns. Mr. and Mrs. Bates will not go away but take pos­ses­sion at once of a charm­ing res­i­dence con­tigu­ous to the Maf­fitt place, which has been late­ly remod­eled and ele­gant­ly fur­nished for them.[2]

– 10 Feb 1889: Mrs. Charles F. Bates gave an infor­mal recep­tion yes­ter­day after­noon, the first enter­tain­ment in her new home on Lucas place.[3]

– July 1936: Charles F. Bates, retired busi­ness­man, died of the infir­mi­ties of age yes­ter­day at the sum­mer cot­tage of a daugh­ter, Mrs. Arthur C. Hiemenz, at Atlantic City NJ. He was 82 years old and had gone there Tues­day, intend­ing to spend the sum­mer. Born at Erie PA, where he was edu­cat­ed at a pri­vate acad­e­my, he came here as a young man to work for a cousin, John J. Roe, pres­i­dent of the old Nation­al Bank of Mis­souri. Lat­er he was con­nect­ed with the mer­chan­dise firms of Hen­ry Bell & Son and Sam C. Davis & Co. In 1879, at the age of 25, he came trea­sur­er of the Catlin Tobac­co Co., a posi­tion he held until the com­pa­ny was merged with the Amer­i­can Tobac­co Co. in 1900. For the next two years he was an offi­cer of the Amer­i­can Tobac­co Co. and there­after retired from active busi­ness. How­ev­er, for some time he held direc­torates and oth­er inter­ests in var­i­ous con­cerns. He was mar­ried to Miss Nan­cy Chouteau Maf­fitt in 1889. She died [03 July 1928]. Late­ly he had resided at 4399 McPher­son Avenue. Sur­viv­ing are a son, William Maf­fitt Bates, 5915 Lin­dell Dri­ve, a for­mer State Sen­a­tor, and two daugh­ters, Mrs. W. Geof­frey Kim­ball, 11 Lenox Place, and Mrs. Hiemenz, who resides on Ladue Lane, Ladue. The funer­al will be at 9 a. m. tomor­row at the son’s res­i­dence, with the Rev. John W. MacIvor of Sec­ond Pres­by­ter­ian Church offi­ci­at­ing. Bur­ial, which will be pri­vate, will be in Cal­vary Ceme­tery.[4]

Board­ing

– May 1901: The pupils of Miss Louisa L. Dieter gave a recital at No. 1711 Locust Street, Tues­day, May 7.[5]

– 08 Feb­ru­ary 1903: For Quick Sale – We can sell the prop­er­ty 1711 Locust St., 100 feet west of Sev­en­teenth St., lot 50X155, at a bar­gain if sold at once – Call and see us – Mis­sis­sip­pi Val­ley Trust Co., Fourth and Pine Sts[6]

– 15 Feb­ru­ary 1903: The Mis­sis­sip­pi Val­ley Trust Co. also reports the sale of the prop­er­ty known as 1711 Locust Street, fronting 55 feet on the north side of Locust Street, by a depth of 155 feet, the prop­er­ty being sold to William M. Hor­ton, con­sid­er­a­tion being $20,000.[7]

St. Louis Tran­sit Co. Elec­tri­cal Sub-Sta­tion 
(1903 – ?) (build­ing still extant)

– This build­ing was con­struct­ed in 1903 as a pow­er sub­sta­tion for the St. Louis Tran­sit Com­pa­ny, one of the major oper­a­tors of the street­car sys­tem. The archi­tect is unknown, but Mar­tin Arhel­ger was the con­trac­tor. The build­ing was recent­ly auc­tioned and bought by 1711 Locust LLC. The build­ing has sub­stan­tial dam­age to its roof; it is not known what, if any plans the cur­rent own­ers have for the prop­er­ty. Con­tain­ing a sin­gle soar­ing sto­ry, this build­ing pos­sess­es an immense and dra­mat­ic inte­ri­or space that could be suit­able for many dif­fer­ent uses. Parad­ows­ki Design’s superla­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion of a sim­i­lar build­ing serves as an exam­ple of how a for­mer gen­er­a­tor build­ing can be repur­posed in such a way that takes advan­tage of the open space.[8]

– A for­mer elec­tri­cal sub­sta­tion, gen­er­at­ing pow­er for street­cars, with fan­tas­tic brick­work and what must be an impres­sive sin­gle space with­in. Last used as a night­club in the 1990s, today it’s falling apart, with severe dete­ri­o­ra­tion of the roof. It was sold in 2007 with the inten­tion of ren­o­va­tion, but noth­ing mate­ri­al­ized; a sale at auc­tion in 2010 has left its future up in the air.[9]

– June 1903: Great Stor­age Bat­tery for St. Louis – Tran­sit Com­pa­ny to Install Immense Elec­tri­cal Reser­voir to Hold Sur­plus Cur­rent for the World’s Fair Traf­fic – As part of the prepa­ra­tion for the extra­or­di­nary traf­fic expect­ed dur­ing the World’s Fair, the St. Louis Tran­sit Co. is arrang­ing to install a mon­ster stor­age bat­tery. This bat­tery bears the same rela­tion to the gen­er­a­tors sup­ply­ing pow­er for dri­ving the trol­ley cars that a reser­voir does to the large pumps at the water­works. By this it is meant that the bat­tery can receive the sur­plus elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­at­ed by the machines when it is not need­ed by the cars, and then when the cur­rent required by the cars is more than the capac­i­ty of the machines, the bat­tery can make up the dif­fer­ence until it is emp­tied. This method of using stor­age bat­ter­ies in con­nec­tion with trol­ley roads is not new, but it has remained for the St. Louis Tran­sit Co. to install the largest one of these bat­ter­ies now in ser­vice any­where in the world. This bat­tery is known as the “Chlo­ride Accu­mu­la­tor” and will be installed by the Elec­tric Stor­age Bat­tery Co. of Philadel­phia in a sub-sta­tion to be erect­ed by the tran­sit com­pa­ny on Locust Street, near Sev­en­teenth Street. In this posi­tion it will be close to the great­est num­ber of cars, which of course are con­gre­gat­ed on the down­town streets, and thus being near the load which it has to car­ry it can relieve the gen­er­at­ing sta­tion to the best advan­tage. It will be in ser­vice this fall, so that the effect of it will be noticed on the cars next win­ter. Mr. DuPont of the com­pa­ny believes that with the help of this bat­tery there will be no short­age of pow­er on the sys­tem dur­ing the com­ing heavy win­ter loads, nor for the heavy loads of the World’s Fair. The capac­i­ty of this bat­tery in elec­tri­cal terms is 5000 amperes at 600 volts. This means, as the elec­tri­cal engi­neers say, 3000 kilo­watts. A horse­pow­er is equal to just about three-quar­ters of a kilo­watt, so that 3000 kilo­watts is equal to 4000 horse­pow­er. This is about the pow­er tak­en by 100 cars. Of course if the bat­tery is called upon to deliv­er this pow­er con­tin­u­ous­ly it will become exhaust­ed, but in rail­way work it for­tu­nate­ly hap­pens that the load fluc­tu­ates so that the bat­tery can give, and take, and thus add this capac­i­ty to the sys­tem, prac­ti­cal­ly con­tin­u­ous­ly. In every city a great many more peo­ple ride at cer­tain hours that at oth­ers, and this pro­duces an extra­or­di­nary demand for pow­er at those times. Thus in St. Louis the trav­el to the cen­ter of the city in the morn­ing pro­duces an increase in the load between the hours of 7 and 9. In com­ing down­town the trav­el is much more dis­trib­uted than in the evening, when the peo­ple are going home. They do not all come down­town at the same time, but pret­ty near­ly every­body goes home between 5:30 and 6:30 o’clock. In order to meet this demand the tran­sit com­pa­ny is oblig­ed to run dur­ing these hours very many extra cars, a num­ber of which make only one trip. It is this short demand for extra pow­er which the bat­tery is so well adapt­ed to sup­ply. If the bat­tery is not installed, enough gen­er­at­ing machin­ery, includ­ing engines and boil­ers, would have to be put in the pow­er sta­tion to car­ry this max­i­mum load with­out the help of the bat­tery. These machines, of course, would be able to give this pow­er through­out the entire day, and, there being a demand for it only dur­ing one hour, the machines nec­es­sar­i­ly would be idle the rest of the day. Again, this may be com­pared to the water­works. If there was no reser­voir it would be nec­es­sary for the pumps to pump just as fast as the peo­ple used the water. It has been found by exper­i­ment that this varies great­ly through the dif­fer­ent hours of the day, and on the dif­fer­ent days of the week. It will be clear at once that on Mon­day more water is used than on almost any oth­er day, and also it is found that on every day much more water is used dur­ing those hours imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the meals than at oth­er times. By the use of the reser­voir the pumps are enabled to work along at a steady rate, pump­ing the water into the reser­voir from which it is drawn at a vary­ing rate, accord­ing to the demands of the peo­ple for water.[10]

– Decem­ber 1903: Unique Orga­ni­za­tion is the St. Louis Tran­sit Com­pa­ny – Remark­able Growth of a St. Louis Street Rail­way Com­pa­ny from a Bob-Tail Con­cern to One of the Great­est Sur­face Sys­tems in the Unit­ed States – In a num­ber of respects the St. Louis Tran­sit Co. is the most unique orga­ni­za­tion in the Unit­ed States. It new repair shops are, in many ways, the most com­plete and prac­ti­cal ever put in oper­a­tion by a street rail­way com­pa­ny. Its trans­fer sys­tem is more elab­o­rate and exten­sive than any sur­face road west of New York City. It stor­age bat­tery in the new pow­er house on Locust near Eigh­teenth Street is the largest in the world, hav­ing 588 cells of 77 plates each, with 13,000 horse­pow­er. The capac­i­ty of the old pow­er­house at Broad­way and Sal­is­bury Street is 10,000 horse­pow­er… Fifty-four years ago the first street rail­way tracks were com­plet­ed on Olive Street from Fourth to Twelfth streets. From that time, 1859 to 1886, the bob­tailed car, with its old Mis­souri mules and hors­es, held sway. Then came the first cable road, which was built by the St. Louis & West­ern Co., now the St. Louis & Sub­ur­ban Co. In 1887 the Cit­i­zens’ Rail­way Co. began the cable ser­vice. The Mis­souri Rail­way Co. next made the change, in April 1888, and the People’s and St. Louis com­pa­nies changed short­ly after­ward. In 1888 there were eigh­teen dis­tinct rail­roads in St. Louis… It was not until 1890 that the first cars were oper­at­ed by elec­tric­i­ty, when the Union Depot Rail­road Com­pa­ny installed that sys­tem… While in 1903 there were [ ] inde­pen­dent com­pa­nies oper­at­ing lines in St. Louis, today there are but two, the St. Louis Tran­sit Co. and the St. Louis & Sub­ur­ban Street Rail­road Co… The Tran­sit Com­pa­ny is just com­plet­ing the erec­tion of a build­ing for a sub-sta­tion and stor­age bat­tery on Locust Street near Eigh­teenth. The build­ing is two sto­ries below the street lev­el and tow sto­ries above the same. The two sto­ries below the street lev­el will con­tain the largest stor­age bat­tery in the world, hav­ing 588 cells of 77 plates each. The object of the stor­age bat­tery is to store elec­tric­i­ty at the time of day and night that there is no great load on the pow­er hous­es and using the same dur­ing the morn­ing and evening rush hours of the day. The stor­age bat­tery will be in use before Christ­mas. The sto­ry of the build­ing on the street lev­el is to be used for wires, air ducts and repair shop. In the sec­ond sto­ry above ground will be locat­ed sev­en trans­form­ers and rotary machines to con­vert the alter­nat­ing cur­rent elec­tric­i­ty pur­chased from the Union Elec­tric Light and Pow­er Co. to cur­rent suit­able to street rail­way use. There will also be locat­ed two boost­ers, the object of which is to charge the stor­age bat­tery at street rail­way volt­age. The capac­i­ty of the machines and stor­age bat­tery in this build­ing will be 13,000 horse­pow­er, being 3000 horse­pow­er larg­er than the pow­er sta­tion at Broad­way and Sal­is­bury Street.[11]

– Decem­ber 1903: The sub­sta­tion at No. 1711 Locust, known as the “boost­er” sta­tion, is not yet in work­ing con­di­tion. It is in emer­gen­cies of this kind that the “boost­er” sta­tion is expect­ed to be of most val­ue. Its ordi­nary pur­pose will be to help out what­ev­er line is in need of cur­rent.[12]

– March 1904: Dur­ing the year the expen­di­tures for these pur­pos­es have aggre­gat­ed $1,868,931, of which the most impor­tant items are the Locust Street sub-sta­tion, cost­ing $273,522…All of the new pow­er plants have been com­plet­ed with the excep­tion of the aux­il­iary sta­tion at Sev­en­teenth and Locust Streets, which will be fin­ished and in oper­a­tion about April 15.[13]


[1] Infor­ma­tion from the Cal­vary Ceme­tery web­site

[2] St. Louis Repub­lic, 16 Jan 1889

[3] St. Louis Repub­lic, 10 Feb 1889, part III, pg 18

[4] St. Louis Post-Dis­patch, “Charles F. Bates Dies at Atlantic City NJ,” 06 July 1936, p6A

[5] St. Louis Repub­lic, “Musi­cals,” 12 May 1901, part II, pg 2

[6] St. Louis Repub­lic, real estate ad, 08 Feb 1903, part IV, pg 6

[7] St. Louis Post-Dis­patch, “Mis­sis­sip­pi Val­ley Trust Co.,” 15 Feb 1903, pA9

[8] Land­marks Asso­ci­a­tion of St. Louis, Inc., list of Most Endan­gered Build­ings, 2010

[9] BuiltStLouis.net web­site

[10] St. Louis Post-Dis­patch, “Great Stor­age Bat­tery for St. Louis,” 14 June 1903, pg 4B

[11] St. Louis Post-Dis­patch, “Unique Orga­ni­za­tion is the St. Louis Tran­sit Com­pa­ny,” 13 Dec 1903, pg 6

[12] St. Louis Repub­lic, “Neglect May Have Caused Explo­sion,” 23 Dec 1903, pg 2

[13] St. Louis Post-Dis­patch, “M’Culloch to be Man­ag­er of Tran­sit Lines,” 08 Mar 1904, pg 1