Jane Smiley on What St. Louis Tells Us About America


The rows of brick homes round Skinker regarded previous and indestructible, however we noticed the draw back once we headed into the town — many brick homes have been boarded up, others had collapsing roofs, smoke stains alongside the partitions. They are a lot tougher to dismantle than clapboard homes. Bricks signify the glory and the hazard of St. Louis’s historical past — many nonetheless sleek and exquisite within the center class and rich neighborhoods, however within the poorer areas, their historical past is a burden and a reminder.

My grandfather labored for International Shoe Company, within the tannery the place they turned the hides into leather-based throughout the Mississippi, not downtown, within the enormous shoe firm warehouse that was was the City Museum in 1997. This “museum” is one thing I’ve by no means seen earlier than, a playground/junk assortment full of kids and their mother and father, designed by Bob Cassilly. I wish to say that I knew him in elementary faculty in Webster Groves, the St. Louis County suburb the place I grew up, as a result of he was about my age, and that we collected fossils down in Deer Creek, however I can’t. Surely he had a number of enjoyable with this museum.

The huge exhibition, indoors and open air, consists of “old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes!,” in addition to caves, a 10-story slide, a tree home, a Ferris wheel, a citadel turret, and the world’s largest pencil. It is among the hottest museums within the United States, however I may solely take it for an hour. We wandered across the 4 flooring, watched the youngsters discover the out of doors balconies. It additionally features a outstanding first-aid room, and I may see why.

Not far-off is the Field House Museum, in-built 1845 by Roswell Field, the daddy of Eugene Field, who wrote “Little Boy Blue” and “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.” Roswell Field was well-known as Dred Scott’s lawyer when Scott was combating in opposition to being re-enslaved within the 1850s. The United States Supreme Court resolution in opposition to Scott was made public in March 1857 on the steps of the St. Louis Courthouse. Fortunately, Scott was given his freedom that May, however he died on the age of 59, 15 months later. The Dred Scott resolution is broadly thought of one of many worst choices the Supreme Court ever made. The Field House is the final rowhouse remaining on the road, with slender, steep stairs, and pleasant reveals of toys, books and the paraphernalia of mid-19th century every day life. We have been the one guests.



Source link Nytimes.com

Get more stuff like this

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.