Day 31: St. Louis & nearby Illinois

We’re in the home stretch now.  A week from now and I’ll be back at work in Manhattan.  It seems like I’ve been out here for two months already — has it seemed that long to you?  I’m physically drained but there’s still so much to shoot.  The remaining packets for the states between here and home are probably two weeks worth.  Hopefully, I can tack on some of it to the TX/OK trip next spring. 

A few hours in the morning were spent in downtown St. Louis.  If you’re following my Flickr stream as well on this trip, you may recall this photo uploaded a day or two ago of the Sky Bank in Wellston:

I came across this thing downtown which looks an awful lot like it.  Could there have been two?  Or was this created recently as an homage?


This building from the 1920s originally housed the Shell Oil Company:

A random architectural detail shot from a building nearby:

Wonderful Moderne letters:

Before we leave St. Louis, how about a couple shots of the Gateway Arch.  I love it so.  Here are some facts about the structure:
I’m trying to think how many 1960s buildings/structures are different cities’ primary emblems.  There’s the Space Needle in Seattle.  What else?

The first stop in Illinois today was to visit the French Village Drive-in sign which is in storage in Sauget.  Here’s a photo of the sign upright:

A couple signs from Madison:

This building in Alton is perforated with loads of mini windows:

Lately, there’s a whole lot of siesta going on.

Except for the Ever Vigilant One who is perched on my arm 95% of the day — just waiting for the next important thing to manic-ly bark at.  Usually right  in my eardrum.

In Staunton.  Used to be a gas station / truck stop / restaurant. Now nothing.

In Breese — this guy is on the roof of the Dairy King Drive-in.  They’ve been around since 1951 and I had assumed that this guy might have been saved from a previous building.  But after poking around at their website, it seems the building was remodeled in 2002 and this guy is only as old as that.  He conceals the grill exhaust. More businesses should follow suit and do something artistic with those ugly hunks of metal on their roofs. 

And lastly, something refreshing to look at I hope.  It’s been in the 90s lately out here and probably similarly hot wherever you are.  Unless you live in San Francisco which I hear has been chilly.  There’s a Ski soda production plant in Breese — so naturally the Dairy King has all the flavors on tap.  I bought this at a corner grocery store.  I rate it a so-so.  Not enough carbonation for me but I’m a Diet Coke addict.  I’d also expected something a little more tart.  But I love the label and this bottle just might make it home to Brooklyn.

7 thoughts on “Day 31: St. Louis & nearby Illinois

  1. Love the graphic on that bottle, it would be a keeper in the Hacienda, with a cheery flower sticking out of it! Only thing that would make it better is if it the label was painted on and not stuck on, but I quibble. Great shots of the arch too!

  2. I think you can probably consider the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco as one symbol of the city. Not the only symbol of San Francisco, obviously (Golden Gate, anyone?). Even though the building of it was mostly in the 70s, it was designed in the 60s.

    • Isn’t that bldg at the end of Market St. (sorry my brain’s gone) more of a landmark now than the Transamerica (which I love)? But yeah, I guess the Golden Gate is the most identifiable.

  3. Well, I don’t know where you heard it’s chilly in San Francisco, but yesterday it was 87. and today the forcast high is 94, with 100+ in the inland areas. But, low humidity, of course. So, I do remember summers in Chicago well. Melty.
    I don’t know about the Dairy Master sign. Kinda creeps me out.

  4. Oh, yeah. I have to comment on a couple of things. What is the Citizens Bank building used for now? Love the shot of the interior. It almost looks like an airbrushed illustration with those metal pipe things. COOL! I also have an affection for chef/baker signs. Love the pizza & the bakery. If any of these are still lit, wish locals could shoot them! I think the Harley Man will become the Billy Mays memorial in the future.OK, that’s all I’ve got except to pass along another Chicago Man photo that I think you can relate to, times 4:

    "After the store, I get to go to the park."

    Thanks again,Debra for the cool shots. One more week.

    • The Citizens Bank is vacant now. According to a funky damaged sign, it was used as an office bldg of some kind. “Professional Building” or some such. But it looks like it’s been empty for awhile. I’d LOVE to see the inside. The Imo’s sign is lit at night — but with red neon and only partially so I didn’t shoot it. I’m sure you can see which others are lit if you poke around at Flickr hard enough. I’m a sucker for black & tans (dogs that is). But anything with long legs and a smooth coat gets my vote. And best if a rescue, of course.

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