Pictures and Illustrations.
Washington Avenue East from Ninth Street
Temple Israel, 1st Presbyterian Church, St. George's Episcopal Church, The Rock Church — St. Alphonsus, Baptist Church, and Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Eads Bridge, Levees, and Merchants' Bridge
Concordia College Church, Non-Sectarian Church, 1st Congregation, Church of the Messiah, and Cook Avenue Methodist
Insane Asylum of the Sisters of St. Vincent-de-Paul
Fifth Street North from Chestnut
Equitable Building, Merchants' Exchange, Mercantile Library, and Mermod-Jaccard Building, Headquarters Bureau of Information, Fall Festivities Association
Boatmen's Bank, Laclede Building, and Commercial Building
Portland Place and Westmoreland Place Residences
New Water Tower, New Inlet Tower at Chain of Rocks, Pumping Works, and Old Water Tower
Forest Park Seminary, St. Louis University, Concordia Seminary, and Sacred Heart Convent
Washington University — School of Fine Arts, Smith Academy, Mary Institute, Manual Training School, Observatory, and Main Building
Liederkranz Club, St. Louis Club, University Club, Marquette Club, and Pastime Athletic Club
Security Building, Odd Fellows' Building, and Wainwright Building
Club House, Grand Stand & Race Track — St. Louis Fair Grounds
Pageant of the Veiled Prophets
Views from St. Louis Fair Grounds — Bear Pit, Ampitheatre, and Club House
Views from Dome of Court House — North-east
Views from Dome of Court House — South-east
St. Louis Through a Camera.
THOSE who knew St. Louis ten years ago, and depend upon their memory for a picture of the St. Louis of to-day, have but a very inadequate idea of the general character of the Metropolis of the West. Change — rapid, radical change — has taken place on every hand. It is safe to say, that no city of the world has made greater strides in municipal improvement than St. Louis. Its granite streets, its well-paved avenues and boulevards, its pretentious public edifices, its towering office buildings, its huge mercantile and manufacturing establishments, its beautiful homes, and its thousands of acres of unsurpassed public parks, are largely the work of the last decade. Upwards of a half million people call St. Louis their home; it is the center of their hopes; they are proud of their city, and they are anxious that the world should become better acquainted with it.
This little brochure is designed as an introduction to modern St. Louis, and is presented by its citizens. The reader can see in the engravings, made from photographs, how we live; he can see the kind of buildings in which we do business; our recreation and pleasure grounds, and he may form some sort of an opinion of the people of the most hospitable city in the country. He may be induced to pay us a visit — say during our forty days' fall festivities — and see more of the not "future," but present, great city of the West.
"St. Louis Through a Camera" is published under the auspices of the Bureau of Information of the St. Louis Autumnal Festivities Association, and does not contain a line of advertising, nor has any consideration actuated the compilers other than a desire to present to the world the city as it is. In order to confine the work to convenient size for mailing, it has been necessary to limit both the number of illustrations and the amount of space devoted to explanatory reading matter, and hence only the most striking features of St. Louis, its greatness, and its elegance, have been described and illustrated. The reader is invited to not only visit, but to inspect, the Metropolis of the West and Southwest, and he will find that not a tenth part of either its
2greatness or elegance has been told. St. Louis has a population considerably in excess of 500,000 — the number of names in the directory of 1892 indicates a population of at least 540,000 — and it is growing in population, as well as in wealth and manufacturing importance, with marvelous rapidity.
As a place wherein to spend a happy day, St. Louis is without a rival. The people delight to entertain strangers, and they also know how to entertain handsomely and royally. For forty days every fall the city puts on its holiday attire, and during the months of September and October carnival reigns supreme. But St. Louis is a good and pleasant place to visit and dwell in during the entire year, and its attractions are so varied that no seeker after pleasure ever goes away from St. Louis disappointed.
A perusal of the pages following will show the reader that St. Louis is a cosmopolitan city in every sense of the word. Its manufacturing establishments rank among the very best in the world; its streets are the best paved, cleaned, sprinkled and lighted on the Continent; its public and office buildings are costly, modern and magnificent; its dwelling houses are admitted by visitors to represent a greater number of types of architecture than those to be found in any other city in America; its system of rapid transit is the best in the world, and some of its electric cars are best described as palaces on wheels; its parks are scenes of beauty, and are maintained in the highest possible condition of cultivation and adornment; its stores are among the finest and best stocked in the world; its libraries are convenient of access, luxuriously appointed and supplied with the best collections of modern and classical literature that money and research could procure; its clubs are models of elegance and comfort; its schools ate the admiration of a Continent, and its system of tuition is admitted to be the best yet perfected; its churches are numerous and beautiful; its water supply is never-failing and of admitted purity, and its climate is at once healthful and delightful.
It is to a city blessed with these and a thousand other advantages that St. Louisans bid the visitor welcome. Those attending the World's Fair are especially invited to secure transportation reading "via St. Louis," in order that a few days may be spent here either going to or returning from the Fair. The railroad companies recognize in the City of Conventions a place well worth a visit, and will issue tickets with stop-over privileges at St. Louis if desired. That hundreds of thousands of visitors from all parts of both the Old and New Worlds will take advantage of this opportunity to remain for a time in the great city on the banks of the mighty Mississippi is an assured fact, and to each visitor the city of St. Louis extends in advance a cordial Welcome.
The Metropolis of the West.
ST. LOUIS is the acknowledged metropolis of the West, the Southwest and the South. It has absolutely no rival, so far as the South and the Southwest are concerned, and when it is remembered of what the new South, and the still newer Southwest, are composed, it will readily be seen that no city in the world is more fortunately located. The awakening in the South during the last five years, and the general tendency towards the encouragement of manufacturing interests and the abandonment of cotton growing as a sole source of income, have resulted in a demand for a higher class of mercantile products in all the Southern States, and the shipments south from St. Louis, are, in consequence, five times greater to-day than what they were but a few years ago.
Missouri itself is one of the richest States in the Union, so far as natural resources and opportunities are concerned. As an agricultural State, it acknowledges no superior; as a mining State, it is rapidly forcing its way to the front; its timber is unequaled, or at least unexcelled; it raises some of the finest high-grade cattle in the world; and as a wool-producing State, it is known the world over. At the World's Fair an exhibit of the resources of Missouri will give to visitors from all parts of the world at least one reason why the State's first city has plunged forward with such gigantic strides towards commercial wealth and supremacy during the ten years, and why the census returns published this spring concerning the manufactures of St. Louis have made a continent wonder.
Even if St. Louis depended upon Missouri for its trade, it would not be at a loss for business. But the State is merely the type of ten or fifteen others which look to the metropolis of the West for their supplies, and which find in that metropolis a market for their raw material. While the South has thrown off its lethargy and taken on new life and new ambition, the great Southwest has come into existence as a factor, not only in politics, but also, and in a much greater degree, in commerce and finance. It is needless to name in succession each State which is proud to acknowledge the great city on the Mississippi as its natural commercial metropolis; but it may be mentioned, that a territory in which wild and broken land, such as is found in the Indian Territory, can be converted into a peaceful, prosperous country, such as Oklahoma has become in two years, has no equal in the civilized world, and never had one within the memory of living man, or of reliable historian.
St. Louis is also benefiting to a greater degree than any other city in the United States from the improved trade relations between this country and Mexico. There are four direct routes between St. Louis and the City of Mexico, and the other large cities of the Republic are within easy access of the great American city. Thanks to the efforts of the Traffic Commission, rates between St. Louis and Mexican points are now very low, and the amount of business transacted is growing rapidly. The demand in Mexico for American-made goods of every description is becoming greater every year, and in selecting a location, manufacturers are influenced in favor of St. Louis, by the fact that it is much nearer the Mexican Republic than any other large city in the United States, and that it is destined to be the practical gateway to that country of magnificent, but as yet only partially developed, resources.
In addition to its unique advantages as a receiving and distributing point, St. Louis is fortunate in having at its very gates a practically inexhaustible supply of coal. No matter how power is generated, the cost of coal practically settles the cost of power, and hence a manufacturer is greatly handicapped when he cannot obtain a regular and adequate supply of coal at what may be termed a low commercial rate. In many large cities, coal, even for manufacturing purposes, and when delivered several car loads at a time, costs upwards of $2.00 and even $2.50 per ton; and even in the Pennsylvania region, where coal is notoriously abundant, the cost averages $1.25, with charges for switching and hauling in addition. In St. Louis, a good, slow-burning coal, admirably adapted for manufacturing purposes, is delivered to manufacturers at a price, including all switching and delivery charges, of from $1.10 to $1.15 per ton.
Low as this rate is, there is every reason to anticipate a still greater reduction in price in consequence of the increased competition between railroads, resulting from the opening of what is known as the Merchants' Bridge across the Mississippi river, between the vast Illinois coal fields and the City of St. Louis. With coal approximating $1.00 per ton, with raw material of every description close at hand, and with a market constantly growing, St. Louis offers to manufacturers advantages which shrewd, energetic men are not slow to realize. And it is because of that realization that the city is rapidly becoming the greatest manufacturing city on the Continent, and the great distributing point of the New World.
Taking these facts into consideration, it is impossible to overestimate the future of the city. It is certainly destined to become the largest city of the mid-continent, and those who have located in it, or who do so in the near future, will necessarily share in the magnificent prosperity which awaits St. Louis, and to which it will attain during the lifetime of many of those now residing in it.
A Manufacturing Stronghold.
MANUFACTURING, like civilization, is traveling westward. Twenty years ago the New England States had a practical monopoly of the manufactures of the country, but they possess it no longer. Those intimately connected with commerce and manufacturing in St. Louis have been aware for years that this city has been making rapid strides towards the goal of ambition of every great city, but it was never realized, until the census of 1890 was taken, how enormously the manufactures of St. Louis had increased during the decade covered by that enumeration.
The census of manufactures resulted in a revelation, not only to the United States generally, but even to St. Louis itself. Bulletin No. 170, issued from the Census Office of the Department of the Interior, contains figures which, in considering the subject of manufacturing supremacy, it is impossible to ignore. Thus the number of factories in St. Louis in 1890 is shown to be nearly twice the number in operation ten years previously, while the number of men, women and children employed in manufacturing is returned as 91,000 as against 41,000 in 1880, showing an increase of 117 per cent. A still more satisfactory feature of the return is the proof that wages paid have increased in far greater ratio, the enormous sum of fifty-two million dollars having been paid out as wages in 1890, an increase of nearly 200 per cent of the amount thus disbursed in 1880. The amount of capital invested in manufactures in 1890 was found to be $130,000,000 as compared with $50,000,000 in 1880, while the value of the goods manufactured during 1890, calculated at net wholesale prices at the factories, was $225,000,000, or practically double the aggregate value of the product of 1880. When it is remembered that the cost of raw material and the increase of competition have combined to reduce prices from ten to twenty-five per cent during the last decade, it will be readily admitted that St. Louis actually produces three times as much as it did ten years ago.
In connection with these figures, it is generally estimated that the great bulk of the increase took place within the last half of the ten years; and, during the two years which have elapsed since the census was taken, such an immense number of large manufacturers have moved into St. Louis, that the figures of 1890, gratifying as they are to all lovers of the Monarch of the Mississippi, in no way indicate the stupendous manufacturing business now being carried on within it.
Space does not permit, nor is it necessary to give in detail the increase in the various branches of manufactures, but it may be mentioned that the most astounding increase was in boots and shoes, clothing, and the various articles used in the building trade. The enormous building business of St. Louis has taxed to the uttermost the capacity of establishments manufacturing brick and kindred articles, while the demand for St. Louis made shoes has forced it into the position of being the first shoe manufacturing city in America, and, with the exception of Boston, the greatest distributing point in the world. Many cities can claim pre-eminence in one particular line of manufacture or industry, but it has been left for the Metropolis of the West to excel in almost numberless directions.
St. Louis has been called a cosmopolitan city, but it is not more cosmopolitan in the personnel of its inhabitants than in the branches of its manufactures in which it stands ahead of all competitors. Thus, it has to-day a larger output of boots and shoes than any other city in America, and it can boast of the largest shoe manufactory under one roof in the world. It is the largest tobacco market in the world, and its largest tobacco factory has a record of paying the largest Government tax of any house in the United States; and the largest brewery in America is located in St. Louis. It has the largest drug house in the world, and it possesses hardware and woodenware establishments so much larger than can be found in any other city on the face of the earth, that comparison is rendered needless.
It manufactures more stoves and cooking ranges than any other city in the world, and it is now executing the largest single order for railroad cars ever given to one house, while its street railroad cars are shipped to all parts of America, as well as to England, Australia, Japan and other distant climes. It manufactures and handles more saddlery and harness than any other city in America, and is admitted to be the best winter wheat flour market between the Atlantic and Pacific. It possesses the largest blank book manufactory in the world, the finest retail jewelry establishment in America, the largest exclusive carpet house in the United States, while its furniture, agricultural implements, and men's and children's clothing are shipped by the car load, not only to every State in the West, Southwest and South, but also to Old Mexico and to South America, and to all parts of the world.
St. Louis is by far the largest horse and mule market in the world; it is the best publishing center west of New York; its carriages and vehicles are admitted to rank among the very best in America; it is the largest hard wood lumber market in America, and it rightly claims to be able to offer to buyers in any and every branch, facilities and advantages equaled by few cities in either the New or the Old World.
The Best Railroad Center in the United States.
AS THE BEST railroad center in the United States, St. Louis occupies a position as fortunate as unique. Mr. Robert Porter, Superintendent of the Census, in the course of a speech on the importance of St. Louis as a manufacturing and distributing point, made the statement that the mileage of railroads centering in this city exceeds the total mileage of all the German railroads. He went on to point out that, as the German railroad system is about five thousand miles longer than that of either England or France, St. Louis has the advantage, for the purposes of its enormous and ever-increasing trade, of a greater mileage of railroads than any one of the three great commercial countries of the Old World. Mr. Porter did not go deeply into the figures, but, as a matter of fact, the total mileage of St. Louis roads is fully ten thousand miles greater than that of all the railroads in either England or France.
St. Louis is the natural terminus of roads running south, and it is the connecting link between twenty of the largest and most important systems running from east to west. One of the reasons why St. Louis is the most popular city in the United States for the purpose of holding conventions is the undisputed fact that it can be reached by delegates from a larger number of States at a lower average cost than can any other city between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Lakes and the Gulf. Its passenger train service is a marvel of modern convenience and luxury, and its freight service is magnificent in the extreme, both in volume and equipment. Its manufacturers and jobbers are aided by systems of terminals of a remarkably perfect character, which reduce the expenses of shipping to a marked degree.
In one large building in the city the experiment of running cars direct into the basement, and hauling them by means of elevators to different floors, and thus unloading freight right in the warerooms of the various consignees, as well as enabling merchants to load direct into cars, without incurring any expense whatever in the way of hauling, has been successfully tried, and this is only one of the respects in which St. Louis has set the pace to the manufacturers and jobbers of the civilized world. Architects and contractors have come from cities a thousand miles distant to inspect the system adopted, and all have agreed that it is one of the greatest commercial triumphs of the age.
As is inevitable, the extraordinary increase of the manufacturing output of the great city on the banks of the Mississippi is reflected in the freight returns of the various railroads. In the year 1880, the tonnage of freight carried by the St. Louis roads was nine millions, and the fact was regarded as a magnificent tribute to the growth and enterprise of the city. But during the year 1891, the roads hauled over seventeen million tons, showing an increase of nearly one hundred per cent in eleven years, and it is believed that during the year 1892 the total tonnage will considerably exceed eighteen millions.
The passenger and freight service to and from St. Louis surpasses, in scope of territory covered and points reached, that of any other city in this or any other country. It is the focus of twenty-six distinct roads, radiating toward all points of the compass. In this, it resembles a huge octopus, with the grand new depot as a center, and arms reaching to all parts of the country. Passengers can step on board elegant sleeping cars under the spacious sheds of the depot, and be carried, without change, eastward, to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and Buffalo; northward, to Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Minneapolis; northwestward, to Portland, Tacoma and Seattle; westward, to Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Los Angeles; southward, to the City of Mexico, San Antonio, Galveston, New Orleans and Mobile, and southeastward, to Jacksonville and other points in this part of the country. The freight service is fully as complete and extensive, and covers all portions of the United States.
A careful computation of the number of trains required in the passenger service of St. Louis, daily, gives a grand total of 323, arriving at and departing from the tour principal passenger depots of the city. The number of trains engaged in freight service is more difficult to determine, owing to the circumstance of their being run largely in sections and as specials. A careful estimate, however, gives a total of 375 engaged in the freight traffic every day in the year.
Until recent years the railway terminals of St. Louis have been confined principally to Mill Creek Valley, but as the traffic of the city has expanded, it has brought about a congestion of business in this otherwise perfect terminal tract. About three years ago, a railway movement materialized in the northern part of the city, in which some of the leading roads of the West were interested, and, at a great outlay of money, amounting up into the millions, several valuable blocks of manufacturing territory were purchased, and a new terminal system established in connection with the Merchants' Bridge.
These two great separate terminal systems are in no manner competitive, as the growing importance of St. Louis trade demands the existence of both, and the one helps, rather than hinders, the other. The city's commerce is increasing so rapidly that the utmost capacity of both systems will soon be reached.
The Largest City on the Largest River in the World.
IN ADDITION to being the best railroad center in the United States, St. Louis is also the largest city on the largest river in the world. It is situated on the western bank of the Mississippi river, which, with its tributaries, not only drains a continent, but also provides means of transportation between St. Louis and the Gulf, and hence gives the city river transportation facilities equal to those of any other city in America, and immeasurably superior to those of any other large city.
The advantage that St. Louis derives from its location on this great waterway, which, with its tributaries, runs through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and other States, can scarcely be estimated. Of the four thousand miles of the river, upwards of two thousand are navigable, without taking into account the immense mileage of its numberless tributaries. The Mississippi is, in fact, the trunk line of an almost perfect transportation system extending over the enormous area known as the greater Mississippi valley, extending from Minnesota to Louisiana and from the Alleghanies to the Rockies, and embracing more than one-half of the States and Territories in the Union.
A bill has already passed the Senate of the United States, appropriating $18,750,000 towards deepening the channel of the Mississippi, so as to make St. Louis practically a sea-port. The River and Harbors bills of this and subsequent years will also provide for the carrying on of this stupendous work, and, by the end of the century, St. Louis will be in direct deepwater communication with Mexico and South America, as well as with Europe and the entire world. During the Spring of each year the Mississippi is so deep that the largest steamships of the ocean can come up the river to within two hundred miles of St. Louis, and during a greater portion of the year smaller steamers with barges of immense carrying capacity run constantly between the great city on the Mississippi and the river mouth.
It must not be supposed that the magnificent railroad facilities enjoyed by St. Louis make the river an insignificant factor in regard to the transportation to and from the city of the thousands of tons of merchandise which are handled by its manufacturers, jobbers and merchants. Although the river freight returns are small when compared with the railroad tonnage, they still exceed the railroad business of several cities of the larger class, and
10the influence of the river on freight rates is enormous. Thus, in 1891, freight was carried by river between St. Louis and New Orleans, a distance of twelve hundred miles, at $2.20 a ton, while the average railroad rate of the United States during the year was 9.40 mills per ton per mile, which, for the distance named, would be equal to $11.29 per ton, or five times the river rate.
As the river is deepened, and the good work is going on without waiting for the appropriation of the eighteen millions already referred to, St. Louis' manufacturers and merchants will be in a position to avail themselves of the still lower freight rates which are certain to prevail on the river with increased competition, and the commerce of the city will receive a still further impetus in consequence.
Channel deepening, and the provision of ship highways are not experiments, and no better illustration of the effect of work of this character can be given than a record of the "Soo" Canal, which was deepened from 12 to 16 feet in the year 1886, at a cost of $3,400,000. Up to that year the annual tonnage between Lakes Superior and Huron was less than 2,000,000, but it is now over 10,000,000, and is still steadily increasing. The effect on rates has been as marked as on tonnage, the water rate having been reduced $1.00 per ton, and the competing railroad rate, $2.50 per ton. The saving in freight, even on the old tonnage, is a magnificent equivalent for the expense incurred in the work, while the influence on trade and commerce generally is too great to be estimated by figures.
Various estimates have been made as to the effect of deep water on freight rates between St. Louis and European, Mexican and South American ports, and a conservative estimate places the reduction at about 50 per cent. Ocean freights are notoriously low, and, when the saving of expense in the matter of loading and unloading is taken into consideration, it is obvious that the percentage of reduction will be at least as heavy as on the canal between the lakes.
St. Louis is now admitted to be the best winter wheat flour market in the world, and the business it transacts in grain of every description is increasing to an extent difficult to realize. The agricultural States of the Mississippi valley, which recognize St. Louis as their commercial metropolis, have an annual surplus for marketing of at least five hundred million bushels of grain, the seven trans-Mississippi States producing nearly one-half the entire wheat crop of the United States, and fully two-fifths of the corn crop. These figures and facts only need to be considered for a moment to lead to a realization of the enormous importance of St. Louis as a distributing point. They also make it evident that, as soon as trans-Atlantic steamers can load and unload at the St. Louis wharf — and the time they will be able to do this is not far distant — St. Louis will become almost, if not quite, the greatest grain-shipping port in the world.
The Best Market in America.
ST. LOUIS offers to buyers the best market in which to purchase goods of every description; and this applies not only to the merchant or jobber, but also to the private citizen who wishes to obtain the best possible value for his money. The Exposition has had a marked influence on the city in many ways, not the least important of which has been the establishment and building up of a determination on the part of merchants, not only to make their window displays expositions in themselves, but also to carry in stock full assortments of the very best goods of home and foreign manufacture.
The principal thoroughfares of St. Louis are among the most attractive in the world, and they are frequently compared with the best known shopping sections of New York, London and Paris, with frank admissions on the part of visitors, that the metropolitan city on the banks of the Mississippi can, in many respects, give hints of value to any of the three capital cities mentioned.
The merchants of St. Louis are in a position to supply every want that can reasonably be felt. At their very doors are manufactured choice products in a great variety of lines, and the magnificent railroad facilities of the city place them in easy and constant communication with the great manufacturers of the East; and St. Louis being a United States Port of Entry, a vast business is annually exchanged with the important manufacturing and art centers of Europe, importations from the other side coming direct to the city in bonded cars or barges. The great improvements in street railroad facilities, and also in the suburban train service, have so enormously increased the demand for goods of every description, that merchant after merchant has been compelled to either rebuild or to greatly enlarge his establishment, as well as to increase, to an almost incredible extent, the value and variety of the stock carried.
The same influences that have combined to put St. Louis in the front rank as what may be called a shopping center, as well as a great manufacturing district and emporium, have naturally resulted in the establishment of low prices. It must not be imagined from this, that St. Louis excels alone in a cheaper grade of goods. So far from that being the case, it is generally admitted that St. Louis goods in every department of commerce are of a high grade, and that no attempt is made to sacrifice quality at the shrine of alleged cheapness, although it is conceded by buyers that prices in St. Louis are as far below the average in other cities, as the quality of stock kept is above it.
As in manufacturing, so in retailing. While the Metropolis of the West and Southwest excels in a greater number of manufactures than most cities even venture to embark in, so in retailing it is well to the front in everything that is either useful, or beautiful, or both. It has a number of establishments and stores which can hardly be duplicated, and certainly not excelled in any other city; and it is to be noted that rapidly as the number of these establishments has increased during the last ten years, the demand has more than kept pace with the growth, and new comers are regarded rather as allies than competitors.
It is agreed that, financially, St. Louis is one of the best equipped cities in the world. Financial panics have left the city untouched, and during the excitement which followed the Baring failure two years ago, the St. Louis banks did not even find it necessary to increase their rate of discount. This unique condition of affairs is due to the fact that a comparatively small amount of business is carried on in the city on borrowed capital, and the stability of the great trading establishments of St. Louis enables them to procure the best the market provides at the lowest possible quotations; and hence St. Louis is the best city on the Continent to purchase anything and everything that is required for the home or the individual.
In few cities in the world are there a greater variety of tastes to gratify than in St. Louis. Among its permanent residents are to be found representatives of many races and nationalities, and its fame as a carnival city brings within its gates tens of thousands of visitors every year. The wants and wishes of all these have to be supplied by the local merchants, and so varied are the demands that have to be met, that the successful retailer is compelled to keep in stock, not only every novelty as fast as it appears, but also selections calculated to meet the requirements of every class and nationality.
The habit of doing this has become so general that it is difficult now to distinguish between cause and effect; in fact, it is probable the tables have been turned altogether, and that the efforts of the merchants of St. Louis to meet demands so varying as to be well-nigh bewildering, have resulted in the building up of other demands even more difficult to supply. But, however this may be, it is certain that the retail trade of St. Louis extends far into neighboring States, and that mail and express as well as freight trains are constantly pressed into the service as means of delivering orders.
In short, St. Louis has become the retail, as well as the wholesale, Metropolis of the Great West and Southwest. It has been the Metropolis of the South, in every sense of the word, for over a generation, and now it is called upon to supply the wants of at least one-third the States and Territories of the Union; and to those who know St. Louis as it is in the year 1892, it is superfluous to say that it is fully equal to the occasion, and that few who send orders to the great emporium have either reason or justification for complaint or disappointment.
Streets that are Well Paved, Sprinkled and Lighted.
THE Metropolis of the West has been built up on a site admirably adapted for a great city. The ground rises gracefully and steadily from the river to the extreme western limits, and is sufficiently broken to add to the picturesqueness, as well as to greatly aid the work of surface drainage, without which it is impossible to provide a good system of streets. St. Louis has to-day 270 miles of macadam streets, thirty miles of Telford pavement, eight miles of wooden blocks, four miles of asphalt, and nearly fifty miles of granite blocks. The advantage the city has derived from its magnificently paved granite streets in the down-town, or business section, can not possibly be overestimated. What may be called the granite era set in about the year 1870, since which time over four million dollars have been spent on the work. Another million has been expended on asphalt and wood, and neither effort nor expense has been spared in bringing about a condition of affairs which has earned for St. Louis the splendid reputation of being the best paved city of the New World.
Granite and limestone blocks are also used very freely in the paving of alleys, nearly one hundred miles of alleys being thus paved. There was at first much opposition to the expense of paving the streets with so costly material as granite, and the opposition was even stronger to similar work on the alleys; but the result has been so satisfactory, and the health of the city has been so much improved by the perfect cleanliness of the alleys, that it is now agreed that every dollar spent in this manner has proved an excellent investment.
The granite streets and alleys referred to are also admitted by visitors to be the cleanest to be found in any city in America. The system of cleaning in force is at once economical and efficient. The cost of cleaning is far less per mile than the cost in any other large city, and the results are much more satisfactory than in other cities where the cost is four, six, and even eight, times as great. In addition to sweeping the streets by aid of machinery daily, they are occasionally washed thoroughly by means of water turned on from the fire-plugs, and this inexpensive but thorough cleansing was tried systematically for the first time by St. Louis.
This city is also the pioneer in the matter of street sprinkling by municipal contract. Up to within the last five years the plan usually in force in the United States prevailed here. The sprinkling contractors made the best terms they could with property holders, and when an owner refused to pay the charge demanded, the incongruity of
14a block nine-tenths sprinkled and one-tenth left unsprinkled was frequently met with. Then, in response to a general expression of opinion, the city undertook the work, with the result that all improved streets and hundreds of miles of unimproved streets are now sprinkled several times a day during spring, summer and fall, in a manner never contemplated or even hoped for in the old days, when some men were willing to pay for sprinkling, and others were not. The new system is the more popular, because, besides greatly improving the condition of the streets in summer, it has also reduced the expense to an unanticipated extent, and no impost is paid more cheerfully than the small sprinkling tax levied to cover the cost of the work.
The streets of the city are laid out in a geometrical and common-sense manner. As a rule, the streets running north and south are numbered in rotation, according to their distance from the river. The longest continuous down-town street running north and south is Broadway, formerly known as Fifth street, and the widest down-town street is that portion of Twelfth street covering what was formerly known as Lucas Market, and lying just north of the new City Hall. The nomenclature of the streets continues to be numerical in character until Twenty-sixth street is reached. This is known as Jefferson avenue, and west of this point the bulk of the north and south streets are known as avenues. Grand avenue would be thirty-sixth, Vandeventer thirty-ninth, Taylor forty-fifth, and King's Highway fiftieth street, were the system of naming by numbers continued out into the strictly resident section.
Houses on the streets running east and west are numbered from the river westward. Market street, on which the Court House and the old City Hall are both situated, is taken as the unit in numbering the houses on the streets running north and south; while on the streets running east and west, all houses are numbered from the river. The numbering is strictly by blocks, and the stranger can acquire an insight into the system in a few minutes. If, for instance, he desires to find a house numbered say 2415, he knows that it is on the twenty-fourth block from either the river or Market street, and any map or pocket guide will enable him to locate it in an instant, without even taking the trouble to ask his way.
The gas lamp, as a means of lighting the streets, is a back number in St. Louis; in the spring of 1890 electricity took its place, and the entire city is now lighted thoroughly, though at very moderate cost. The electric lights are placed at street crossings throughout both business and residence sections, and the parks are also provided for in the distribution and location of lights. St. Louis has, in addition, the distinction of having been the first city in the world to light its alleys by aid of electricity, and the experiment has proved so effective in the prevention of crime, that many other municipalities have followed the excellent example set them.
Millions in Brick and Stone.
THE public and office buildings of St. Louis have kept pace with the rapid growth of the city in commercial importance, manufactures, and population. Reference has already been made to the tribute paid to the city's greatness by the official census bulletin, dealing with the increase in manufactures during the eighties, and the improvement which has taken place since the year 1880 in the buildings devoted to financial and commercial undertakings, has been just what the peruser of that bulletin would expect to see. Two and three-story structures have been replaced by eight and ten-story fire-proof buildings, and while convenience and safety have been the first desiderata, elegance and beauty have not been lost sight of in either the preparation or the execution of the designs. The demand for first-class stores and offices is so great that a healthy competition has been created among capitalists to supply it, and at no period in the city's history has there been so much activity in this much-to-be-desired direction, as there is at the present time.
In public buildings, the city is distinctly rich; the new City Hall now in course of erection on what is known as Washington Square, on Twelfth street, three blocks north of the old Union Depot, will be one of the finest municipal buildings of the world, and it will be the more interesting as well as valuable to western men, from the fact that it is being constructed almost exclusively of Missouri material. Its cost, when completed and equipped, will, in all probability, exceed two million dollars, and the investment will be an excellent one for the city.
The new Union Depot, also in course of construction, and on which work is being pushed rapidly, in order that it may be opened for travel during the influx of guests the city is certain to have during the holding of the World's Fair, will be another monument to the growth and greatness of the Metropolis of the West. The building alone will cost nearly, if not quite, a million dollars, and it will be in every respect a model of ingenuity and convenience. It will be what is known as a pocket depot, and all trains will be backed into it, so that no locomotive will pass into the covered portion, which in consequence will be free from the smoke which is found in almost all large covered railway stations. As upwards of 300 passenger trains will enter and leave this depot every day, with as many as 500 daily during the carnival season, the importance of this provision will be easily understood.
The Federal building, on Olive street, is a handsome, substantial and costly structure; and the Post Office, the business of which is conducted on the first and portions of the other floors, is remarkable for producing a greater revenue per capita of population than the Post Office of any other city in America. So marked is the efficiency of the St. Louis postal system, that the Postmaster-General selected this city in the spring of 1892 for two experiments, one a house-to-house collection of mails, and the other, the pneumatic tube delivery system.
The Court House, on Fourth street and Broadway, just south of the magnificent new hotel about to be erected, is another very valuable and massive structure, full of old memories, and containing some costly works of art, which every visitor should make it a point to see. The view from the lofty dome is a beautiful one, covering as it does, the heart of one of the busiest cities of the New World, a whole net-work of railroad tracks, the river and the two great bridges which connect the Missouri and Illinois shores, and other evidences of growing commerce and never-ceasing activity and progress. Visitors to the city can enjoy this magnificent view without incurring any expense.
It is unnecessary to name in detail the other public buildings of the city, or to enlarge upon the interesting landmarks which abound on every side. The visitor will derive much interest and pleasure from the inspection of some of the lofty semi-public and office buildings, which have been erected without regard to expense, and with no other object in view than to take advantage of every triumph of modern skill and ingenuity. As already stated, there are several of these buildings eight and ten stories high, and the consensus of opinion of architects, contractors, and especially of insurance men, is that ten stories is as high as it is either safe or profitable to go. During the last five years, twenty buildings such as described have been erected in St. Louis by St. Louis men and St. Louis capital, and at the present time there are in course of erection eight office buildings, each over eight stories in height, and admirably adapted for occupation by professional and business men.
A conservative estimate of the actual expenditure during the last eight years, on office buildings alone, places the amount at upwards of twenty million dollars, excluding from the calculation all factories and purely business houses.
In another chapter mention is made of some of the manufacturing establishments in St. Louis. Some of these are admitted to be the largest in America, and some are the largest in the world in their special lines. These are well worth a visit, and the tourist with a love of architecture of what may be termed a commercial character, will find ample gratification in the city, which made greater progress towards manufacturing and commercial supremacy during the eighties than any other city in America, and, it is almost unnecessary to add, than any other city in the world.
A City of Magnificent Homes.
IT IS a fortunate city that can boast of its homes. The conditions of happiness, and mental, physical and moral healthfulness, are very much in favor of the city whose people own or live in separate houses, as opposed to those cities in which tenement and apartment life is prevalent among all classes. The enforced contact of families is to be deprecated, and the city that, from necessity or choice, constructs huge buildings wherein its people shall live, forcing from scores to hundreds of families under one roof, is not to be envied.
Happily this condition of things does not prevail in St. Louis, which is a city of homes. In the past ten years the number of dwellings has increased more rapidly than the population, notwithstanding the immense gain of the latter. No city now, with the possible exception of Philadelphia, has so great a proportion of its citizens living in their own houses. This is equally true of all classes, and is not confined to any one walk in life.
Building associations have become very popular, and their success has been well-nigh uniform. Through them thousands of mechanics, tradesmen, and clerks have obtained neat, convenient and, some of them, elegant homes. Not alone do the salaried classes take advantage of these co-operative associations, but successful business men often elect to erect their residences by their aid.
Of course this desirable state of affairs could not exist without suitable ground to build on; but right here is St. Louis' strong position. That portion of the State of Missouri, incorporated as St. Louis, and included in the great bend which the Mississippi makes at this point, is unsurpassed for building purposes of all descriptions. Its first rise from the river is somewhat abrupt. From this to the city limits on the west is a series of gentle swells and levels, affording building sites of the most desirable kind, being high, healthful, and possessing the conditions for easy and perfect drainage. Within the city limits on the west flows the River des Peres, which changes the contour of the city to that of a more rugged nature, while just beyond the city are the highlands of the picturesque Meramec, which gives to St. Louis suburbs that have no equal in attractiveness or rural charm. Of recent years the application of electricity as a motive power has brought about an extension of the street railway lines far beyond the city limits. These, in connection with the efficient suburban service provided by the steam railways, has brought this desirable territory into easy and quick communication with the city, and made it available for residence purposes.
And, presto! what a change! An old resident who, a few years ago, looked upon that part of the city lying west of Grand avenue as a wilderness, would become lost in a wilderness of another kind, could he be suddenly set down there now — a wilderness of residences, stately and elegant. Broad and well paved streets, grand, floor-like boulevards, granitoid walks, velvet lawns, and thousands of electric lamps have supplanted waving cornfields and truck gardens, in the short space of ten years.
This home building of late years presents an interesting municipal phenomenon. It exemplifies the modern tendency toward co-operation, and reveals a remarkable change of sentiment in favor of home-making among St. Louisans. According to the record of building permits, the total number of structures of all kinds erected in St. Louis in the year 1891, if placed side by side, would make a street thirty-five miles long, and these buildings are distributed in about the proper proportion between residences and business structures. From this fact it is obvious first, that St. Louis has had an enormous increase in population since the census of 1890; and second, and of equal importance to the city, that there exists a strong movement among all classes, toward house-building, from the thousand dollar cottage of the laborer, to the hundred thousand dollar mansion of the millionaire. To the friends of St. Louis it is the most gratifying feature of her growth.
Elsewhere in this book will be found engravings of some of the city's typical residences. It is interesting to compare the old style of residences with the new. The old was stately and dignified in every line, befitting the dignity of our fathers; where artistic ornamentation was allowed it was prim and chaste, but it was not looked upon with general favor. Without they were spacious, within elegant and hospitable; but they lacked the artistic grace of the modern residences. Until the universal adoption of electricity and the cable systems of rapid transit, the residence portion of the city closely circled the business center, but when rapid transit came, the city spread rapidly westward. More space was taken for fine residences, in striking contrast to the camped appearance of the older method. Broad boulevards were constructed, and elegant places laid off, which have soon filled with marvelous palaces of elegance and luxury. Lindell Boulevard, Vandeventer Place, Westmoreland and Portland, and numerous other "places" can challenge comparison with the finest the world can produce.
These private places, of which Vandeventer was the first laid out, may be described as a distinctly St. Louis institution. Each "place," is in reality a miniature park, with a grass lawn and shrubbery maintained in highest possible cultivation, and with a faultless roadway separating it from the wide granitoid sidewalks, which, in turn, divide the roadway from the smooth and faultless lawns in front of the costly houses. Traffic is restricted to light vehicles, and the perfection of comfort and retirement is attained.
Street Car Riding a Luxury.
VISITORS to St. Louis find in its electric railroads an attraction which alone repays them for any trouble or expense incurred on their trip. Some of the most luxurious cars ever constructed for street railroad purposes are to be found running in and through the city, and lovers of the beautiful can enjoy rides over several miles of the loveliest suburban and residential country of America. One of the last acts of the Municipal Assembly of the session of 1891-92 was the passage of an ordinance authorizing the reconstruction into electric roads of the last three horse-car roads running to and from the business section of St. Louis, and the addition of some eight miles of tracks to these roads. Work of reconstruction in accordance with this ordinance is now in active progress, and, by the fall of 1892, the only horse-car road in St. Louis will be the Jefferson Avenue, a short cross-town road, forming a connecting link between the magnificent southwestern lines and all the roads running directly west and northwest.
The rapid transit era in St. Louis dates from the year 1885, when a cable road was constructed, connecting a narrow gauge suburban and county road with the center of commerce of the great city, to the old limits of which it had been built several years previously. The new cable road proved so popular that horse-car lines ceased to be either a source of income to their owners or of satisfaction to those who had hitherto been their patrons, and during the years 1887 and 1888, the Citizens' line, running out to the Fair Grounds and to King's Highway, as well as the Missouri Railroad, running out on Olive Street to Grand Avenue, were both cabled, the latter being also extended to Forest Park. The People's Road, running through southwest St. Louis, past Lafayette Park, to Compton Hill, was next cabled, and extended along Grand Avenue south to the eastern entrance of Tower Grove Park. Then followed the cabling of the Broadway line, which has fifteen miles of tracks, and which runs along Broadway, right through the heart of the city, connecting North St. Louis with Carondelet.
But it is the electric roads of St. Louis which have attracted to it attention from all parts of America, and even led to inquiries from the leading cities of the Old World. There are now nearly two hundred miles of electric railroad tracks in St. Louis, and the car equipment, as already stated, is luxurious to a degree. The Lindell Railroad runs from the Eads Bridge to Forest Park by two distinct routes, with a third branch running a little north of the Park nearly to the city limits, and a fourth connecting the two main lines, and carrying passengers to the Fair
20Grounds and Jockey Club House. A conspicuous feature of the Lindell is its vestibule car, an innovation in street railroad equipment which is attracting much attention.
The St. Louis and Suburban road is the successor of the narrow gauge, with its first connection already referred to. It now runs through electric cars from down town to the suburban city of Florissant, with a branch to Forest Park, and is one of the longest electric roads in the country, and by far the longest road operated from one power house. It has introduced successfully the running of mail cars, and solved a problem, as well as established a precedent which will eventually revolutionize the postal system in all the large cities of the country.
St. Louis is also the pioneer in the matter of city railroad express service. The South St. Louis road, operated by electricity throughout, and running to the extreme southern limits and past the largest brewery in America, carries on a regular express business, which proves highly remunerative to the company, and a source of immense convenience to residents in the southern portion of the city.
The Union Depot lines carry passengers to Tower Grove Park, and almost every portion of the southwest of the city; and the Benton-Bellefontaine road runs in an exactly opposite direction, taking passengers to the gates of the lovely resting places for the dead, which are situated in the north and northwest. Another route to Tower Grove Park runs up Chestnut street, and through what is known as the Rock Springs district, while another road running up Chestnut street takes passengers, in a direct line with scarcely a perceptible curve, right out to Forest Park. The Mound City line runs up Pine street, and by a short route to the Fair Grounds.
It will thus be seen that the two largest parks of the city can be reached with perfect ease by a variety of roads, Forest Park being accessible by two routes on the Lindell, by the City and Suburban, and also by the Olive street and Chestnut street roads; while Tower Grove Park can be reached by the Union Depot line, by the Fourth street cable, and by the yellow cars on Chestnut street. The Fair Grounds can be reached by no less than eight rapid transit roads.
Some idea of the magnitude of street railroad traffic in St. Louis can be gathered from the fact that during the year 1891 the number of fares collected was almost eighty-one million, as compared with forty-one million during the year 1885, the last year of the horse-car era. It is admitted by street railroad experts and managers, that an increase of one hundred per cent in travel in the space of six years has never been recorded in any large city in the world, and the fact that St. Louis has broken the record in this respect is an evidence, not only of the grand improvement in its street railroad service, but also of the gigantic strides it has made in population, commerce and manufacturing during the last few years.
The Intrinsic Value of St. Louis Realty.
ST. LOUIS real estate offers to investors inducements of an entirely exceptional character. There has never been a real estate "boom," in the ordinary sense of the word, in St. Louis, and hence prices have not attained to anything approaching a prohibitive figure, and there is no city in the Union, with a population two-thirds as large as that of St. Louis, in which real estate can be obtained as cheaply. During the last ten years prices have risen steadily, and, in the down-town section, rapidly, but the increase has been of a strictly legitimate character, and where high prices have been paid for real estate, it has been almost invariably by parties who at once improved the property with valuable rent-earning buildings. The result has been that each purchase has enhanced the value of adjoining property, and instances are quite common in which purchasers of down-town corners have been offered large bonuses to transfer their contracts to others before the actual completion of the sale.
Although such a large number of office buildings have been erected during the last few years, the demand for offices and stores has been more than sufficient to meet the expectations of the builders. In some cases the ground floor of a fire-proof building has been leased at a rental sufficient to more than pay the interest on the entire investment, and in every case the returns have been very liberal. In addition to the demand for offices which the rapidly increasing commerce of the city naturally entails, the extraordinary movement of manufacturers from all parts of the United States to St. Louis is creating a demand for factories and large buildings which is steadily enhancing values; and conservative men are of the opinion that within the next five years real estate in the wholesale and retail districts of the city will double itself in value without any excitement or any boom, and consequently without any danger of stagnation or reaction.
In the residence district of St. Louis the opportunities for investment are as marked as they are in the business district. Prices have steadily increased, not because of any great excitement or speculation, but because of the growing demand for residence houses, and because of the rapid decrease in the number of vacant lots in sections of the city not by any means suburban or far removed from business haunts. Rapid transit has completely changed the situation. It is now possible to ride to almost any portion of the city from the business section in a little over half an hour, and at the uniform fare of five cents, the result being to bring into the market
22an immense amount of property hitherto practically inaccessible, and hence of small value. The influence of electric and cable roads has been phenomenal in this respect, and as the service improves, so do values increase.
The best judges are of opinion that it is practically impossible to go wrong in investing in St. Louis real estate at the present time. Property which to-day is covered with houses, each worth from $4,000 to $10,000, was a few years ago open country, and as the growth in population and wealth in St. Louis is more marked at the present time than at any previous stage in its career, it is certain that property which to-day can be secured at low figures will in a few years be as costly as ground which during the 80's was equally unimportant, but which is now difficult to procure at $60, $80, or $100 per foot.
Ten years ago Grand avenue was looked upon as the limit for high-priced property; since then the march of progress has been steadily westward, and now some of the costliest residence property in the city is situated west of that magnificent driveway. West, even, of Union avenue there is a splendid territory of high ground which is now being covered with elegant homes and buildings, and which will certainly increase in value as rapidly as property further east has appreciated. The opportunities to the investor, be he a small capitalist or a large one, are unlimited in St. Louis. Syndicates for the purchase and improvement of real estate are uniformly successful and are paying high rates of dividend, while small investors are frequently able to double their money in a short period, and are always able to secure a very liberal return for their investment.
During the year 1891, St. Louis erected more new buildings than any other city in the United States, and this healthy showing has much to do with the confidence of St. Louisans, and the holders of St. Louis property generally, in the outcome. The number of buildings erected during the year exceeded 4,400, of which considerably more than half were for residence houses costing between $8,000 and $25,000; and during the years 1890 and 1891, the total value of buildings erected within the city limits was in excess of $30,000,000, excluding, of course, the outlay on interior decorations. The increase in the number of dwellings is still further evidenced by the amount collected for water license, the total collected in 1891 having been $1,170,000, an increase of more than fifty per cent over the collections during the year 1884. Twice during the last five years the rate has been reduced, and but for these reductions the total of last year would have been double that of 1884.
Figures such as these show that, if there is any boom in St. Louis, it is simply a building boom, and that the increase in values is the result of an increased demand for dwelling houses, and not of wild speculation. There is a constant demand for houses for rent, and modern residences are seldom tenantless for more than a few days at a time. These and other facts which could be quoted almost without limit stamp St. Louis as one of the best fields for investment in real estate in the world.
In the Parks and on the Boulevards.
WHEN a St. Louisan undertakes to show his city to visitors, he usually inaugurates the ceremony by driving out the avenues to the boulevards, and over the magnificent boulevards to the parks, which are so situated that the principal ones can be viewed in a single drive, provided the start is made early in the day. The parks are the pride of every St. Louisan, and he delights to show them to strangers. St. Louis has been more than ordinarily far-sighted and fortunate in the selection of its public parks. They are a magnificent system of rus in urbe; from O'Fallon Park, away in the north, overlooking a broad sweep of the Mississippi, to Forest Park on the west, which is a magnificent tract and extends from King's Highway to the city limits; Lafayette and Tower Grove Parks and Shaw's Garden, the gems of the southwestern suburbs; and Carondelet Park, away in the extreme southern end of the city. These parks are nearly in a direct line north and south near the western limit of the city, and are all reached by the grand King's Highway boulevard.
There are many smaller parks scattered throughout the city, some of them highly ornamental and others reposing, comparatively undisturbed, in their native grandeur. The total number lying in the limits of St. Louis is twenty-three. Among the principal minor ones are Benton, Jackson, Hyde and St. Louis Parks.
A pen description of the city's recreation grounds would do them but scanty justice, nor can they be adequately represented by pictures in a limited work of this kind. The illustrations in this work are taken at random and merely show a few characteristic scenes in the leading parks. It must be understood that the site of the city of St. Louis was originally more or less covered with natural forests, and, in laying out the parks, art has simply supplemented nature. Forest Park comprises a tract of twelve hundred acres of natural woodlands, hills, valleys, ravines and river unadorned, and is unsurpassed in beauty by any other park in the country. In size it is only exceeded by one park in America — Fairmount Park, of Philadelphia. As is inevitable with all grand improvements, serious opposition developed when the proposition was made to purchase it by the city. This was only a few years ago, and the wisdom of the movement has been amply demonstrated in the past five years, since which time a number of street car lines have made their western terminals at or within the park.
Improvements on so large a tract are necessarily somewhat slow, and, while the eastern portion is provided with an extensive system of lakes, walks, flower gardens, summer houses, etc., the western half has as yet not
24undergone extended improvements, with the exception of the magnificent drives which were constructed through the entire park at the time of its purchase. It is daily thronged with thousands of carriages and pedestrians, while every Sunday the five street car lines that reach it are taxed to the utmost capacity to accommodate the tens of thousands who spread themselves out over its beautiful expanse of green sward and forest shade. A Zoological Garden was commenced last season by the purchase of animals from the Fair Grounds Association, and it is intended to make this one of the interesting features of Forest Park.
For Tower Grove Park the city is indebted to the generosity and liberality of the philanthropist, Henry Shaw. It is a beautiful work of art, and comprises nearly every tree and shrub that will flourish in the Temperate Zone. It is laid out in drives, walks, fountains, lakes and arbors, and contains the statue of the world's greatest dramatist, Shakespeare; its greatest discoverer, Columbus; its greatest naturalist, Humboldt. When it had reached the perfection to which its originator desired to bring it, the whole was turned over as a magnificent gift to the city, with the proviso that the Municipal Assembly provide an annual income sufficient to keep and improve it for all time to come.
The Missouri Botanical Gardens, or, as they are popularly known, Shaw's Garden, were inherited by the city on the death of Mr. Shaw. These adjoin Tower Grove Park, and, as is well known, are the most complete Botanical Gardens in the world.
Lafayette Park lies nearer to the business center of the city than the other principal parks, and is also one of the oldest and most beautifully laid out. It has numerous grottos, small lakes and fountains, making a perfect gem of landscape gardening, and, for its size, enjoys great popularity.
O'Fallon Park is the resort of those living in the north end of the city, and Carondelet Park serves the same purpose for the residents of the south end. While neither of these have been highly improved, they are well supplied with well-kept walks and drives which lie beneath a canopy of magnificent forest trees.
An illustration is given of a section of Lindell Boulevard, the favorite driveway to Forest Park, and running from the northeast entrance of the park to Grand avenue, where it connects with asphalted and wood paved streets leading to the business section of the city. King's Highway Boulevard, will, when completed, be the finest driveway in America. As already stated, it runs by or close to nearly all the city parks, forming the eastern boundary of Forest Park, and the western boundary of Tower Grove Park, and terminating at the cemeteries in the northwest of the city. Forest Park Boulevard parallels Lindell, and Union Avenue Boulevard will parallel King's Highway, running from one of the loveliest sections of Forest Park to Calvary Cemetery. The boulevards hold a high place in the long list of attractions of grand and picturesque St. Louis.
The Healthiest Large City in America.
WEALTH without health is of little value, and while St. Louis has plunged forward in the race for commerical supremancy, it has not forgotten for a moment the importance of good sanitary and kindred arrangements. The city is to-day the healthiest large city in the world, its death rate has seldom been as high as twenty a thousand, and eighteen is regarded as a fair average. The foresight of the hardy pioneers, who, in the eighteenth century, selected as a trading post the site on which St. Louis now stands, accounts in great measure for its healthfulness, for it is one of the best town sites that has ever been covered with office buildings and private residences. The authorities have taken full advantage of the natural drainage facilities so providentially provided, and upwards of ten million dollars have been spent in the building of public sewers. The Mill Creek Valley sewer is the largest in the world, and into it run a large number of skillfully constructed branches.
The rapid growth of the city during the last few years has made it necessary to display great activity in sewer building; but there has been such a cordial co-operation with the authorities, that the demand has been met almost as rapidly as it has been created.
Next to perfect drainage, an abundant supply of good drinking water is perhaps the greatest essential for the health of a city of over half a million inhabitants, and in this again St. Louis is more than fortunate. The city draws its supply from the pure waters of the Missouri river, a few miles north of the busy city. It is now erecting, at a cost of eight millions, a complete equipment of new water works at the Chain of Rocks, nine miles from the Court House. An Chain of Rocksinlet tower has been constructed in the center of the river, and one of the longest conduits ever constructed will enable the water pumped out of the river to be distributed throughout the city, after it has passed through settling basins and filtration beds, which will render it clear and sparkling as well as wholesome and good to drink. Physicians and analysts from all parts of the world have analyzed St. Louis water, and all have agreed in declaring it to be a pure and palatable drinking water. The city has over four hundred miles of pipes to convey the water to private houses and factories.
The climate of St. Louis is both healthy and enjoyable. The city is situated on what may be termed a high bluff on the western bank of the Mississippi, twenty miles south of the point where the Missouri river enters the
26Father of Waters. The elevation of the town site above the sea level varies from 500 to 600 feet, and the temperature is seldom excessive in either direction. Since the year 1886, a temperature of one hundred degrees has only been recorded once, and the highest reading of 1891 was but ninety-two degrees. In the last mentioned year, the lowest temperature was five, while the mean temperature for the coldest month of the year was considerably in excess of thirty. Taking July and August, the hottest months in the year, the average daily maximum temperature for the last five years has been about eighty-five degrees, with a minimum average of about sixty-eight, showing the remarkably small variation of but about eighteen degrees a day. Few cities can boast of such a record as this, and the very slight variation makes even the hottest months of the year healthy and free from danger.
Taking the entire year, the mean temperature for July is generally about seventy-eight, and that of August about seventy-five, while those of December and January range from thirty to thirty-five, showing again that the temperature of St. Louis is moderate as well as pleasant. Although a large number of citizens visit the seashore and various summer resorts during the so-called heated term, a very large number find in the city, its magnificent parks, its abundant shade trees, its luxurious street cars, and its picturesque suburbs, attractions sufficient to keep them at home; and it is often stated by St. Louisans returning from summer resorts, that, in point of climate and temperature, there is literally "no place like home."
The fall festivities period covers the month of September and the first two weeks of October, during which the climate of St. Louis is luxurious to a degree, a species of Indian summer prevailing, with cool, refreshing nights, and with days seldom hot enough to induce fatigue. The breeze from the river is invigorating and refreshing, and the promenading on the excellent sidewalks on the great Eads bridge is a sure way of securing cool, fresh air, even in the hottest months of the year.
A good sewer system, an excellent water supply, and a magnificent climate have combined to give St. Louis a splendid reputation as a health resort, and the average age at death, as shown by the mortuary statistics, is exceptionally high. Invalids who have settled here have derived immense benefit from so doing, and there are hundreds of men and women on the streets of St. Louis to-day, who, years ago, were told by their physicians that nothing but change of climate could prolong their lives. Since moving into St. Louis, they have enjoyed a fresh lease of health and vigor, and have become recruits for the army which never tires of reminding friends and acquaintances that there is no place in America on which the sun shines a greater number of days in the year, and which it is so good and pleasant to visit, as the grand, enterprising and hospitable city on the bank of the greatest river in the greatest country the world has ever known.
Unique Educational Facilities.
EDUCATIONAL facilities of an exceptional character are provided for the rising generations of St. Louis. The citizens have always been eager to provide money for carrying on the great work of educating the young, and the methods adopted are proverbially good. Early in the fifties, when it became evident that St. Louis was to be the great distributing point for the West and Southwest, as well as the South, and that it must necessarily become one of the largest cities in the world, the work of school house construction became enterprising and vigorous, and to-day the city is admirably equipped for the instruction of the young, from the Kindergarten to the High School. There are now almost one hundred buildings, which find employment for thirteen hundred teachers, and between whose walls fifty thousand pupils are taught, at an expense to the city of about $1,250,000 per annum.
St. Louis is now erecting a new High School of magnificent proportions, and as soon as this is completed, the school equipment will be exceptionally complete in every respect. The course of study in the schools is a very thorough one, the methods of teaching and the general system of tuition being the admiration of the entire continent. Much of this excellence is the result of the work of Mr. William T. Harris, now United States Commissioner of Education, but who was for many years Superintendent of Public Schools in St. Louis. While occupying this position he formulated a number of plans for the betterment of the system of instruction, and so ably did he organize his system, and so eagerly did the teachers co-operate with him in this noble work, that general attention was directed to the city, and many of the methods first tried here have long since become national and indeed international in their use.
In its Washington University St. Louis possesses one of the finest seats of learning in America. The professors in this magnificent institution include some of the most learned men of the age, and graduates of the University are making their mark in every walk of life and in every section of the country. The Manual Training School in connection with the University has also won more than national fame, and it is probably the finest institution of this kind in the world. The Smith Academy, the Mary Institute, the Law School and the Museum of Fine Arts are all connected with the University, which was established some forty years ago, and which occupies buildings and ground valued at upwards of one million dollars.
The Washington Observatory is another adjunct of the University. It is presided over by one of the ablest astronomers of the day, and a man who has literally traveled round the world in search of knowledge and in fulfillment of commissions from the government. The Observatory is known throughout an immense territory, and it "gives time," to use the technical expression, to a greater area of country than any other observatory in the world, with the single exception of that at Greenwich, England. A number of very important discoveries have been made from it and it is one of the many attractions of the great city in which it is situated.
The city is remarkably fortunate in the possession of colleges and universities wholly or partially endowed and more or less connected with different religious denominations. It has been stated that no city with a population approximating that of St. Louis is so blest with facilities for the imparting and acquiring of information, and it is interesting to know that, while few St. Louisans deem it advisable to send their sons away from home to complete their education, thousands of men of mark not natives of St. Louis graduated in this city. The relations between St. Louis and Mexico, and the keen appreciation by Mexicans of the value of a high-class education in the English language is proved by the fact that an increasing number of wealthy Mexicans send their sons to be educated at the St. Louis schools and universities.
It will be observed that St. Louis is at least unsurpassed as a city in which the best possible education can be secured at the lowest possible expense, and this is a consideration of vast importance to manufacturers, merchants, professional men, and, indeed, all who desire to combine material advancement for themselves, with the best good for their children.
For the student who desires to continue his reading after graduating, the city offers excellent advantages. The Mercantile Library, membership of which involves the payment of but a small fee, owns a five-story fire-proof building at the corner of Broadway and Locust street, and occupies the upper floors for reading room, reference room and library proper. It possesses upwards of seventy-five thousand books, which have been selected from time to time with the greatest care, with the result that the catalogue is sufficiently comprehensive and complete to incite expressions of admiration from visiting librarians and bibliologists.
The Public Library, an outgrowth of the public school system, will in the course of a few weeks be housed in a magnificent fire-proof building, close to the post office. It contains eighty thousand volumes, which can be consulted free of charge at any time, and it also contains elegant reading and reference rooms, which are also entirely free. A nominal fee is charged for membership, which includes the right to take books home, but it is proposed to abolish this tax upon studying, and to gratify the lifelong ambition of the librarian, by making this splendid library free in every sense of the word.
At the Clubs and in the Theatres.
IN THESE times club life is an essential feature of all cosmopolitan cities. In this respect St. Louis maintains its reputation, and is well represented by business men's clubs and social and athletic organizations. First in influence may be mentioned the Mercantile Club, whose membership is made up of the leading business men of the city. It is a down-town club, and has had its headquarters for years on Locust street, between Seventh and Eighth. Its influence is widely felt in the affairs of the city, and its membership had reached such proportions last year that new quarters became imperative. The club accordingly purchased the lot adjoining its present building, and is erecting on its site the magnificent club house shown in our engraving. When completed it will be eight stories high, occupying one of the best corners down town, and will be one of the finest club houses in the country. In the old building have originated most of the great schemes for the improvement and advancement of the city, and the destiny of St. Louis is largely in the keeping of the members of this influential club.
The Commercial Club is an exclusive and very influential organization. Like the commercial clubs of other large cities, it has no club house of its own, its meetings being held where most convenient. Among other movements originated and fostered by this institution may be mentioned the granite paving enterprise, which has proved of immense value to the city. The Office Men's Club is another semi-commercial, semi-social organization of rapidly increasing popularity.
The St. Louis Club is purely social in character, and occupies a magnificent site at the corner of Twenty-Ninth and Locust streets. Its home is a splendid structure of line architectural proportions and adornment, while the interior is furnished and decorated in a style and magnificence that can scarcely be surpassed. Its membership is made up of leading men of wealth and social standing, and it represents club life in its most exalted phases. The Marquette Club is located at the corner of Grand avenue and West Pine street, one of the finest up-town sites, and its membership roll is a very influential one.
The University Club occupies a beautiful location on Pine street, in the up-town district, and while claiming among its membership the leading educational men of the city, it is by no means confined to this class, but embraces alike college educated men and others of good social standing.
The Liederkranz Club is one of the leading German organizations of the city, and occupies fine quarters on Chouteau avenue. The elite of St. Louis German society hold membership in the Liederkranz. Its object is twofold, social and musical. Some of the finest amateur musicians of St. Louis have developed through the instrumentality of this club, and its musical entertainments are the choicest of the kind given in St. Louis. With the Liederkranz Club may be mentioned also the Concordia and Germania Clubs, prominent German organizations, occupying magnificent club houses on the South Side. The Harmonie Club is the prominent Hebrew social organization of St. Louis, situated at the corner of Olive and Eighteenth streets. This club is noted for the splendor and luxury of its entertainments. The Elks Club is run in connection with the St. Louis Lodge of the Order of Elks, and embraces many of the first citizens of St. Louis.
Passing from social and business club life to the athletic and sporting clubs, we find erected in the spacious inclosure of the St. Louis Fair Grounds and Racing Association the magnificent club house of its members. This is one of the finest club houses in the city. The Pastime Athletic Club has recently erected a club house on Vandeventer avenue, near Morgan street, which is thoroughly equipped with all appurtenances for athletic exercise. This is the prominent athletic organization of the city. There are numerous hunting and fishing clubs in St. Louis which have club houses on the rivers, lakes, and hunting grounds in Missouri and Illinois, within a radius of a few miles.
St. Louis has long been noted as a theatre-going city, and the enthusiastic manner in which histrionic talent is always welcomed here is well known to the theatrical stars throughout the country. The city is well supplied with theatres, which are first-class in every respect, and thoroughly equipped for all kinds of theatrical entertainments. The Olympic Theatre has acquired a reputation for good shows, second to none in the country, and always supplies the best class of entertainments that can be obtained. The Grand Opera House is no less popular than the Olympic, and for years the two houses have kept neck and neck in the quality of entertainment furnished. Pope's Theatre is one of the old play houses of the city, and still holds a high position in the estimation of the people. The Hagan Opera House, which was completed last season, differs in many respects from the older theatres, and its decorations are said to be the finest in the West. The Germania Theatre is at present under process of construction, and will occupy a high place among the theatres of St. Louis. The Standard, Havlin's and Pickwick may be mentioned as popular theatres of the city. The Grand Music Hall of the Exposition is utilized for concert troupes and other entertainments where large audiences are in attendance. During the summer it is customary to close the theatres of St. Louis for a period of three months, during which entertainment is provided at the two delightful summer gardens of the city, Uhrig's Cave and Schnaider's Garden.
A Million Dollar Subscription Fund.
ST. LOUIS is fortunate in the possession of an aid to its progress without a rival or even an imitator in the world. The Autumnal Festivities Association is an organization of far greater importance than its name would appear to indicate. It is true that it is the outcome of the Fall Festivities of past years, of the Exposition and Fair, of the Veiled Prophet and his Parade and Ball, and of the other attractions which have earned for St. Louis the title of "The Carnival City of America"; but at the same time, its work does not end with attracting visitors to the city, and entertaining them while they are in it. Its more important object is to direct, the energies of the people into the right channel, and to speed the day on which St. Louis will be acknowledged as the greatest city in America, west of New York.
The Association was organized in the spring of 1891, in accordance with a proclamation issued by the Veiled Prophet, and on May 11, 1891, one of the most remarkable meetings ever held in the United States assembled at the Exposition Building in response to the summons of the Mystic Monarch. It was decided to organize for three years, and an ambitious programme was mapped out by the Chairman, who stated that the sum of one million dollars would be required to carry out that programme in its entirety. It was decided to appropriate one hundred thousand dollars to secure the erection of a fire-proof hotel, to cost not less than one million dollars, in order that there might be no danger of visitors to St. Louis during the World's Fair finding difficulty in securing comfortable accommodation; it was also decided to establish a Bureau of Information, from which could emanate details of the city's greatness, of its needs, its resources, and its general advantages; and it was also decided to illuminate the city during the three years then ensuing in a more dazzling manner than ever attempted before.
Then followed a scene unparalleled in municipal history. One after another, subscriptions, some for as much as ten thousand dollars were announced from the body of the meeting, and before an adjournment was taken, the success of the movement, so far as its financial backing was concerned, was fully assured. In no other city of the world has a million dollars ever been raised by private subscription for a specific purpose, and it was stated by men who did not appreciate the spirit which actuates the leaders of the new St. Louis idea, that it would be impossible to raise such a sum within the period named. But at every turn, business houses, manufacturers, merchants, professional men, clerks, traveling salesmen, mail carriers, policemen, and
32others came forward nobly and generously, and before the books closed in the fall, nearly two-thirds of the sum proposed to be raised had been subscribed, although less than one-fourth of the time named had expired. A large number of the original subscribers have intimated their intention of increasing their subscriptions, and other business men, who were overlooked in the canvass, have expressed their desire to contribute to an institution they all recognize as the best aid to the city's progress that could possibly be devised.
The association is divided into a series of committees, each one charged with an important duty. The General Executive Committee exercises a general care over the city's good, and through its instrumentality the magnificent hotel, fully described elsewhere in this work, is in course of erection. The Bureau of Information is charged with the duty of making known to the world the greatness of St. Louis, which it is doing by the issuing of plain statements of fact concerning the city's progress, and the facilities it offers to manufacturers, merchants and families as a location. It has a permanent office in the Mermod , at the corner of Broadway and Locust, and every mail brings to it inquiries as to St. Louis from all points of the compass. It has correspondents in Europe, in Mexico, and in South America, and is instrumental in a variety of ways in furthering the city's interests. It acts as a means of communication between manufacturers desiring to locate in St. Louis, and the interests most affected.
The Programme Committee is responsible for the general arrangements for attractions during the carnival season of each year, and the Illumination Committee takes care of the special work indicated by its title. The Transportation Committee arranges special rates for visitors, and is in constant negotiation with railroads, in order to insure the increase in transportation absolutely necessary for the handling of the enormous crowds which throng St. Louis during the months of September and October of each year. It acts in harmony with the Traffic Commission of St. Louis, and the two organizations together co-operate to secure the removal of anything bordering upon discrimination against the city, and also exercise careful supervision over freight rates and other arrangements for the hauling of the thousands of tons of manufactured goods which annually leave St. Louis.
To the Finance Committee belongs the credit of having raised the money for this great work, without anything approaching begging or pressure. Committees were formed in the various interests or trades, and a friendly rivalry was established between each, with the result that the large sum of money already named was subscribed in a shorter time than was deemed possible. The committee is now increasing the subscriptions to the sum of one million dollars, and is thus carrying out to the letter the programme as explained at the meeting of May 11 — a meeting which will ever be regarded by the historian of St. Louis as marking an epoch, and proving the city to be the most aggressively enterprising in the world.
The Entertainment of Strangers.
ST. LOUIS is fully alive to the responsibilities incurred in inviting the people of the world to visit it, and the same spirit of enterprise which led to the establishment of the autumnal festivities, is now leading to a splendid increase in the hotel accommodations of the city. On the site of the old Planters' House, there is being erected a ten-story fire-proof hotel, faultless in architecture and construction, magnificent in internal decoration, and a model of luxury and convenience in its appointments and furnishings. The hotel will occupy an entire half block on Fourth street, its main front will face the Chamber of Commerce building, and its side fronts will be on Pine and Chestnut streets. The building is to be Italian Renaissance in style, and the front will be elegant in the extreme. The two first stories are being constructed of Missouri granite, and the eight stories above this will be built with yellow brick and terra cotta. The first and second stories are up to the building line throughout, but above these the building is in the shape of an inverted E, with three L's and two spacious recessed courts which are to be utilized for conservatories, flower gardens and promenades. This arrangement, besides lending a handsome appearance to the front, provides facilities for admitting light and air to the different rooms, and nearly all the 400 apartments will be front rooms. The actual frontage of the hotel will be 230 feet, but as each of the recesses will be seventy-six feet deep and forty-six feet wide, the available frontage on the upper floors will be no less than 780 feet.
There is to be an elaborately stained glass window over the grand entrance, surmounted by a beautifully decorated balcony of stone 138 feet in length, which will connect the three L's already mentioned. There will be three artistic stone balconies on the sixth floor, one before each of the center windows of the L's, and six of ornamental iron, before the windows of the seventh floor. The ninth floor will be almost hidden from a ground view by a heavy stone frieze, which will face the entire three street sides of the building. The roof will be surrounded by a Grecian cornice of stone, finished with light stone corners. The roof will be utilized as a promenade, reached by elevators, and it is safe to predict that this feature will prove extremely attractive and popular. The height from the sidewalk will be 165 feet, and the view will in consequence be magnificent, extending for miles up and down the Mississippi and also far into the State of Illinois.
The ground floor fronts are arranged for banks, offices and stores. Three handsome entrances will lead to a spacious rotunda 125 x 45 feet and 20 feet high, the walls and ceiling being finished with polished marble.
Speedy elevators of modern design will afford transportation to the upper stories. On the second floor there will be another grand rotunda with a magnificent staircase approach, and the parlors will embody features of a novel and delightful character. There will be two dining-rooms, each 50 x 125 feet and 20 feet high, and the appointments and art decorations of these are to be the very best that money can provide. The rooms above will all be convenient and pleasant, and so arranged as to insure the comfort of guests in every particular. The question of expense will not be allowed to influence the selection of furniture and upholstery, and the magnificent structure will cost, when completed and furnished, something close in the neighborhood of $2,000,000.
Another hotel, to cost upwards of $1,000,000, has also been contracted for, and will be completed and opened during the World's Fair period. The site secured for the hotel is on Market and Eighteenth streets, close to the new Union Depot. This hotel will be nine stories high, with an imposing front and a large number of very elegant bay windows. The two first stories will be of red sandstone, and red stock brick will be used on the remaining seven stories, the whole surmounted by a very artistic cornice. The bay or oriel windows will extend from the second to the seventh story, giving it a very pleasant effect.
The rotunda will be 60 x 40 feet and 20 feet high, floored and wainscoted in rich marble, and arranged in a unique and artistic manner. Marble will also be used in all the halls and corridors for floors and wainscoting, and the hotel will be first-class in every respect. It will cover an area of 160 x 100 feet, and will have upwards of 300 elegant rooms in addition to lofty parlors and first-class offices. It is proposed to run this hotel on the European plan, and it will have on the ground floor, one of the finest cafes ever seen in the United States. Both internally and externally the decorations will be of an unusually handsome character, and the building will present an elegant and attractive appearance.
These two fine hotels, added to the excellent hotels already to be found in St. Louis, will place the city in a position to take care of almost any number of visitors who may take advantage of its invitation to visit it during the carnival season. It is obvious, however, that it is necessary to go outside the hotels to accommodate some portion of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come from all parts of the compass, every fall, to witness the attractions provided. In order to obviate any difficulty which might arise owing to overcrowded hotels, the Fall Festivities Association has a branch known as the Hotel and Boarding Bureau, which, during the months of September and October of 1891, provided accommodations for nearly 20,000 people, and through whose instrumentality any visitor to the city can be sure of being provided with comfortable quarters at reasonable charge. Visitors from a distance can, by sending a postal card to the Hotel and Boarding Bureau, secure apartments or board in advance without either trouble or expense.
The Only Successful Annual Exposition in the World.
THERE is only one city in the world which has succeeded in making a success, financial as well as otherwise, of an annual exposition. Experiments in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and even in Paris, have all proved failures, for, while magnificent expositions have been held in each of the cities named, it has been found impossible to maintain the interest in any one of them year by year and to thus make the triumph continuous. The same experiment has been tried with equal lack of success in the large cities of this country, and it has been left to the city which has been the pioneer in so many stupendous movements, and which has scored triumphs in nearly every branch of commerce, finance, education and art, to solve what had been generally conceded to be an unsolvable problem.
For eight successive years there has been held in St. Louis an exhibition extending over forty days, and, instead of the interest dying out and the attendance falling off, the interest has increased so steadily that the record for 1891 was the most brilliant in the Association's truly magnificent career. The year 1892 will long be remembered as the one in which the last bond on the great Exposition building was taken up, and the Exposition is now free from debt in any shape.
It was in January, 1883, that a number of manufacturers and merchants, thoroughly imbued with what may be known as the new St. Louis idea, met at the Mercantile Club and decided to build a permanent Exposition building, as complete and handsome as money could make it. Within twenty days of that meeting an organization had been effected, and half a million dollars had been subscribed by St. Louis citizens, without an appeal of any kind being made to the outside world. Missouri Park, occupying two blocks between Olive and St. Charles and between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets, was selected as the site, and upon it was erected the building, which still stands a monument at once to the enterprise of St. Louis and to the wealth and energy of the great Mississippi Valley. It covers an area of nearly four acres, and has a flooring space for exposition purposes of 300,000 square feet. The great Music Hall will seat four thousand people, and on occasions of exceptional attraction has frequently contained over six thousand people, while no less than fifteen hundred can be accommodated on the stage, which is one of the largest in any building, theatrical or otherwise, in the world. The Entertainment Hall, called the small hall only for purpose of comparison, will seat fifteen hundred people and can easily accommodate two thousand five hundred.
A million dollars was scarcely sufficient to erect, equip and furnish this grand structure, but when it is remembered that nearly five million people have passed through its doors and enjoyed the entertainments and exhibitions provided, it will be agreed by all that the investment was an excellent one. As to what has attracted this vast concourse of people, it may be said that there has been a combination of attractions of every conceivable character. The art collection alone is worth far more than the small charge made for admission to the entire Exposition, while visitors from the East and from Europe have admitted candidly, that never have they seen under one roof a more extraordinary and magnificent collection of commercial and manufacturing exhibits than are to be found in the naves, galleries and basement of the St. Louis Exposition.
Nor are the musical tastes of the people of the West ignored by the Exposition management. The prince of band masters, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, brings every year his matchless band, which gives four concerts daily for at least thirty out of the forty days, during which the Exposition is open every year. During the years 1892 and 1893 Gilmore's band will appear in St. Louis as it has never appeared elsewhere, and as no other band has ever attempted to appear. It will be strengthened by the addition of soloists of international fame, and will consist of one hundred pieces, the whole forming the greatest band under the greatest band master the world has ever seen. Gilmore has proved an irresistible attraction on Manhattan Beach, and in every eastern city in which he has been prevailed upon to play, but he will add fresh laurels to his crown, during this and next year, by the triumphs his band of one hundred talented musicians will aid him in achieving in the city which he has begun to look upon almost as his home.
The improvements in the Exposition during the years '92 and '93 will not be confined to the strengthening of Gilmore's band, although that in itself will form an attraction hard to resist. Everything will be strengthened in equal proportion, and all previous records will be entirely outdone. It is expected that during the World's Fair year over a million visitors will pass through the doors, and as an immense number of visitors from Europe and the East will either go to Chicago or return from it via St. Louis during the Exposition period, it is more than probable that this forecast will be more than verified and that the attendance will be even greater than the best wishes of the Exposition contemplate. The merchants of the city are going to an enormous expense in preparing magnificent exhibits, and some of the spectacles that will greet the eye of the visitor will be magnificent in the extreme.
The spacious basement of the building will be utilized for one of the grandest displays of machinery and electricity ever brought under one roof, and several of Edison's latest triumphs will be on view. Altogether the Exposition will present a spectacle of magnificence and grandeur seldom equaled in the past in any city of America or Europe, and no matter how far the visitor may come to witness the great show, he will feel that his journey was well spent and that his reward is a rich one.
The Veiled Prophet and His Grandeur.
NO DESCRIPTION of St. Louis would be complete without a reference to the Veiled Prophet. This mysterious monarch has visited St. Louis once a year during the last thirteen years, and his visit is looked forward to with interest, not only by the residents of St. Louis, but even by thousands residing hundreds of miles away. No one knows who this Veiled Prophet is, but it is agreed that he is in no way descended from, or connected with, the Veiled Prophet of Khorassin, whom tradition tells us was an impostor and so hideous to look upon that he wore a veil in order that his unsightly features might be hidden.
The Veiled Prophet, who is so much revered and respected in St. Louis, is supposed, rather, to be the lineal descendant of the great prophet in the East, who possessed a magic mirror, which enabled him to see the very character and inner life of any man who gazed upon it. This ancient prophet would allow no man to follow in his retinue until he had submitted to the test, and the word "treason" was, in consequence, unknown in the prophet's vocabulary. Just so, the Veiled Prophet who visits St. Louis every year is the embodiment and royal representative of good fellowship and unselfishness. His followers, like himself, know no personal nor selfish interest in connection with their labors. Like the Prophet himself, they love the great city, over whose destinies his majesty exercises so healthful an interest, and they succeed in giving an immense amount of pleasure to others, without hope of reward.
Early in the fall of each year the Veiled Prophet issues a proclamation, summoning his faithful followers to witness his parade through the streets, and to several thousand leading citizens of Missouri, and indeed America, invitation cards of a most magnificent character are mailed, inviting them to appear at the grand annual ball in the Merchants' Exchange Hall. On the Tuesday following the first Monday in October the streets of St. Louis in the evening present a spectacle which simply baffles description. From thousands of gas jets, and through many colored globes, rays of dazzling lights are cast upon the streets and on to the tens of thousands of upturned faces which are to be seen lining the sidewalks, crowding into the streets and eagerly on the lookout for the great Veiled Prophet Parade, which is a greater success each succeeding year. All available windows are utilized by spectators, while temporary seats are erected in convenient positions along the route in order to enable the throngs of visitors to obtain a good view of the gorgeous parade.
If the census could have been taken on Veiled Prophet's day, St. Louis would be credited with a population bordering upon a million. The passenger trains on all the roads running into the city are crowded, and although special trains are run and arrangements are made months in advance for the handling of the crowds, it is no easy matter for the railroad companies to bring to one city the immense body of people who would not miss the Veiled Prophet's Parade even if they had to cross a continent in order to see it.
An illustration is given of the Veiled Prophet passing the Grant Statue on Twelfth street. The statue will be profusely decorated this year, and over it will float flags emblematic of 1492 and 1892 the former being the flag of Castille and Leon, and the latter, of course, the stars and stripes. Two massive eagles will also appear on the base of the statue, and the whole will be richly illuminated with electric lights in globes of varying shades and colors.
A block north of the statue will be the great master-piece of the fall illuminations, and when the Veiled Prophet's Parade passes this the scene will be brilliant in the extreme. The display will be practically a panorama depicting the discovery of America, its gradual settling up, and the final triumph of prosperity and civilization at the present time. On a massive pedestal 125 feet high will appear a globe with the outlines of the New World finely defined. As soon as the Prophet's float comes into view the electric current will be turned on. A bright star will at once appear at San Salvador, and simultaneously the date 1492 will burst out into bold relief. Then gradually the march of discovery and civilization will be shown by electric lights, until finally the entire continent will be outlined by a series of hundreds of electric lights.
As soon as this is accomplished, another star more brilliant than ever, will be seen twenty-five feet above the globe, with the date 1892 brilliantly displayed below it. In the story of the discovery and settlement of the New World thus told by electricity, a beautiful effect in what may be described as electrical coloring will be given, the lights changing rapidly from red to green and from green to white, a grand "twinkling" effect of surprising beauty and brilliancy being the result. At the trial of this master-piece of street illuminations, electricians and experts present pronounced it the greatest triumph in electricity yet achieved.
There will be other electrical displays of exceptional grandeur, some on Twelfth Street, within sight of the New City Hall, and others in prominent locations. The illustrations in this work give one or two selections, but it is necessary to see the arches and canopies to form a clear conception as to their magnificence. St. Louis commenced illuminating its streets on an extensive scale in 1882, when 20,000 colored globes were used. The display was admitted to be infinitely superior to anything ever contemplated in any portion of the globe, but the improvements effected during the last ten years make the city's initial effort appear comparatively insignificant.
A Splendid Programme of Attractions.
THE Carnival City of America will more than justify its unique reputation as an entertaining city during what is sometimes spoken of as the World's Fair period. The programme of attractions for the years 1892 and 1893 are as far ahead of anything yet attempted in St. Louis, as anything yet accomplished in the great city has been far ahead of anything attempted elsewhere. Of the Exposition attractions much has been already said, and in addition to the forty days and forty nights of beauty and art and music in Exposition Hall, the city will be a mass of gaiety during the lovely Indian summer period, which commences in August and ends about the middle of October in every year.
The street illuminations will be at once original and grand. All the triumphal and other arches will be illuminated, and fifty thousand gas jets, aided by thousands of electric lights, will make the streets one grand exposition, again and again each season.
The great St. Louis Fair will be greater than ever. The management has shown more enterprise than ever in its preliminary arrangements, and it is believed that on the Fair Thursdays of 1892 and 1893 at least 300,000 sight seers will visit the beautiful Fair Grounds in the northwest portion of the city. The St. Louis Mechanical and Agricultural Fair has already the record of being the greatest fair in the West or South; it will have a still nobler and grander record in the immediate future. In 1892, for the first time in the Fair's history, every street railroad running to it will be operated either by cable or electricity. There will be one cable road and six electric roads running direct to one or either of the numerous entrances, and it will be possible to transport 200,000 persons to and from the fair daily, by aid of the friendly co-operation of other roads, which, during fair week are always willing to inconvenience themselves by placing a portion of their railroad stock at the disposal of the lines running directly to the Fair Grounds. The exhibits will not only display in a marked degree the resources of the great Mississippi Valley, and the gigantic manufacturing resources of the greatest city located within it, but they will also include representative exhibits from all parts of America as well as several of a distinctly unique character from Europe.
The Jockey Club has succeeded, at an enormous outlay of money, in convincing the owners of the best race horses in America that they mean business, and the large sums given in the way of added money have brought to the Fair Grounds stables, the best equipped in America, upwards of one thousand of the best stock on the
40continent. The summer meeting lasts forty-eight days, and lovers of first-class horses and the best kind of horse racing, will find them in abundance in St. Louis. The track of the Jockey Club is a mile in circumference, and is one of the best kept and fastest in the world. Its grand stand is a model of convenience and comfort, and it is difficult to imagine a more picturesque sight than it presents when crowded with five or six thousand spectators, with the beauty as well as the wealth of the West liberally represented.
Within sight of the Fair Grounds and the lofty grand stand, is Sportsman's Park, the home ground of the St. Louis Browns, twice base ball champions of the world, and five times champions of the American Association. St. Louis is now one of the principal cities in the League-Association Circuit, and the teams of New York, Brooklyn, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Louisville and Chicago visit St. Louis several times each season to combat for the much sought after championship.
The St. Louis theatres are not allowing themselves to be out-distanced in the preparations to attract and entertain strangers during the holding of the Columbian Exposition. The theatres of the city, as already stated, are all modern in construction and elegant in their appointments, the very best companies appear on the stages, and the leading houses are now booking dates in advance, in order to be sure that during the great carnival period they will have the very best American and European talent for the delectation and instruction of their numerous patrons.
These are only a few of the great attractions which St. Louis offers to the world during the current and succeeding years. Its lovely parks, with their countless attractions, are in themselves worth a journey of several hundred miles. On May 1st, 1892, the first summer day of the year, the luxurious electric and cable street cars running to Forest Park carried no less than one hundred and five thousand passengers, while the cars running to Tower Grove, Lafayette and other parks were all over-crowded; and every street car line in the city has heavy orders placed with car builders in order to provide the necessary accommodation for the hundreds of thousands of passengers they will carry daily during the carnival season.
The great river with its excursion steamers, and the great Eads bridge, still looked upon as one of the engineering triumphs of modern days, to say nothing of the enormous manufactories and other marks of modern enterprise and activity, are all entitled to a place in the programme of attractions which the city offers to the people of the world during the years 1892 and 1893, and more especially to those who will travel several thousand miles to attend the World's Fair. To these, and to all seekers after the new, the beautiful, the grand, and the picturesque, the St. Louis Autumnal Festivities Association offers the freedom of the city, and promises a pleasant and a profitable time.