Tag Archives: Missouri

Hint of History

With the exception of 2020, a trip to downtown St. Louis is often on my agenda.

In recent years I do a combination of private and public transportation. I drive to a lot in a suburb and take the light rail train downtown. For this person who forgets which streets are one-way which way and where the parking garages are located — it saves the nervous system.

Sometimes I have a specific event or destination. Once in a while, I go just to see what’s changed since my last visit. The Arch grounds are a favorite — they were re-landscaped a few years ago and they have greatly improved the museum under the Arch. The top of the Grand Staircase is a wonderful spot to sit and watch the river roll past — with or without a snack. The Old Courthouse is a particular favorite of mine. Even when my main incentive for the visit is another location — I often detour a few blocks for a quick visit.

St. Louis is an old city for the United States — celebrated 250 proud years in 2014. At times we need to look either up – or down – among the sleek, modern buildings to find hints of the past.

Early fortunes were made – and probably lost – as furs from the West transited through St. Louis.

Open Floor Plan

The concept varies in popularity by the decade. Homes built in one era will have defined rooms for cooking, dining, family time, and guests. A house build twenty or thirty years on either side may have an “open” or “flowing” concept with all of the above areas separated by furniture or half-walls to give an open or airy feel rather than the privacy of defined rooms.

Either concept works. Think of great historical houses and shrink them for defined rooms. What mother hasn’t longed to have the children out of sight and hearing for at least a short time?

When you have limited floor space you have fewer options. The home below, consisting of two rooms with a central fireplace, is an example of the open concept.

In one space we have: bedroom (lower left), playroom, dining room, and kitchen. The mantle holds a clock with room for medium-sized storage jars. The kitchen cupboard the the right of the fireplace contains dishes. Many homes of this era (1830’s) also had a wood box inside, but in this case, I believe it was just outside the door.

Curious as to location? This is the birthplace/early childhood home of Mark Twain. I believe the house he died in had more than two rooms.