My Little Corner of the Net

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Union Station St Louis

I had the opportunity recently to travel to St Louis Missouri.  One of the places on our stop was the St. Louis Union Station.  This is one of the great architectural treasures of our country and is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.  It was built in the 1890s for $6.5 million dollars.  The current website says: The architecture of St. Louis Union Station is an eclectic mix of Romanesque styles. The Station's interior and exterior details are a combination of both Richardsonian Romanesque tradition and French Romanesque or Norman style. In fact, Link modeled the grandiose Station after Carcassone, a walled, medieval city in southern France. These designs are most evident when entering the Station's Headhouse and the impressive Grand Hall, with its sweeping archways, fresco and gold leaf detailing, scagliola plaster surfaces, mosaics and art glass windows.

This scale model of the property is on display inside.  It is built out of wood and was constructed in 1932 by Oklahoma resident Edgar B Blumhof when he was nineteen years old.

I found this photo online which shows the beautiful fountains in front of the building.


The great hall was part of the 1980's $150 million dollar restoration and is truly awe-inspiring.  The barrel vault ceiling rises 65 feet above you and and has openings to other floors on three sides.  It serves as a lobby and cocktail lounge for the hotel.

 I was particularly taken with elements like this fan shape above an arched doorway.  The doorway led to the restrooms.  It was created in the Victorian era and has influences of Art Nouveau and even starts to look a little bit Art Deco.

A closer look at the decoration shows the attention to detail, including the underwater tile mosaic which was original.

 I am not sure the tile in the restrooms was original, but it carried out part of the same look and feel.

One of the most impressive features of the Grand Hall is the "Allegorical Window," a hand-made stained glass window with hand-cut Tiffany glass strategically positioned above the Station's main entryway.

The window features three beautiful women representing the main U.S. train stations during the 1890s. Of particular interest is the allegorical window above the entrance to the Grand Hall which depicts the cities of New York and San Francisco as goddesses looking toward St. Louis, who stares serenely ahead, sure of her exalted place in the world.
The main hall and hotel were lovingly restored in the 1980's and the amount of detail is almost mind boggling.

There are beautiful custom Art Nopuveau tiles are far more beautiful in person that the camera can capture.

 This detail shows that even the door hinges were ornate and carefully crafted.

The stair banister and balustrade had a unique detail where it wrapped around a column, I had never seen this done before.

One of the rooms off the hotel lobby had this beautiful ceiling.  The design reminded me of some of the cathedrals in England.

This is a detail of a finial at each corner in the room.  There is also an empty niche to the right in the photo.

This room is actually part of a restaurant and I was impressed with the attention to detail here too.  If you look closely, you can see that even though quarter sawn oak paneling appears to be plain, it has a round column and capital carved at each corner.

This picture showed a corner of the hotel lobby  off of the main hall.  I liked the two different colors of fabric in the window treatments.   I will post some more St. Louis Architecture next time.


  1. What a stunning building! Great to see them restored and still in use. The details are almost overwhelming. Hope i can see it, someday. Thanks for the tour, Troy!

  2. Prachtig gebouw, je kijkt er natuurlijk je ogen uit !!!

    xx Conny