Lemp Brewery, 1878

From A Tour of St. Louis by J.A. Dacus and James Buel (1878). Dacus and Buel devoted a full-page print to the William J. Lemp Brewery complex, and what a marvelous complex it was. Located at Second Avenue and Cherokee, it covered multiple blocks and extended to the levee. Although substantial portions of the Lemp Brewery remain, they are occupied by mere pigeons now.

Davis Dry Goods, 1873

From A Tour of St. Louis by J.A. Dacus and James Buel (1878). The Samuel C. Davis Company occupied a five story building at the corner of Fifth Street and Washington Avenue (fronting Fifth). The building had a cast iron facade and single-sheet plate glass windows; costing more than $30,000 when built. Construction began in August 1871 and finished in March 1873. The site is now home to a three-story commercial building.

More from Dacus and Buel:
"This fine specimen of architectural strength and beauty has a frontal of one hundred and seventy-five feet on Fifth Street by one hundred and twenty-five feet on Washington Avenue, and contains, including the basement, six floors. In the rear of this immense building there is a broad, well-paved area left open to insure a sufficient light, as well as to facilitate the reception and delivery of the enormous quantities of goods which are daily handled by the firm."

Description of the interior:
"Passing from the imposing exterior to the interior, the promise from without is more than fulfilled in the wide view and perfection of detail that meets the eye. Running through from front to rear, at a distance of about twenty-five feet apart,' are rows of iron columns with Corinthian capitals, supporting the floors above. Light is amply provided for, being admitted from three sides—on the east and south the windows being only separated from each other by the iron work which forms the two fronts. On tables arranged with something like mathematical precision, are to be seen the goods that belong to the departments represented on this floor. These are foreign and American dress goods, including silks and prints, in fact all varieties belonging to the entire dry goods line of business, to an extent impossible to enumerate here. From the basement to the uppermost floor of the building, extend four separate elevators, each of which, unlike the majority of elevators in other business houses, has automatic doors that close the hatchway or shaft at every floor as the elevator passes through, so that safety against a fall down the shaft is assured. These elevators work quietly and effectively. One of them carries up goods in original packages; another carries goods upon trucks to be distributed on the various floors; a third conveys goods down that are prepared for shipment, and the fourth is used only for passengers. Everything proceeds without the slightest irregularity or confusion, and the work of many. hands goes on day by day silently yet systematically."

Fire protection measures:
"It is a marvel to witness the amount of merchandise taken in and out by way of the basement of this commodious building in one day. The engine, another adjunct worthy of special notice, is situated in a cosy room in a corner of the basement, is of forty-horse power and does its work quietly and well. It is an elaborate and beautiful piece of machinery, similar to the one which carried away the premium at Philadelphia during the great Centennial exhibition. The basement is made to extend under the sidewalk of the streets, and is fully lighted through the thick glass set in iron-work overhead. It is also provided with fire-proof vaults, in which the old books and accounts of the firm are preserved. The preparations made by this firm for the extinguishment of fires are as extensive as they are ingenious. Each floor is provided with fifty feet of best rubber hope and nozzles, the same in size as that used by the city ; the power to force the water being furnished by a fire pump in the engine room of greater capacity than any of the city fire engines. In case, however, the fire should originate at a time when there was no steam in the boilers, connection is provided on the outside, to which any of the city engines may join their hose and throw water through the hose belonging to the firm upon any floor or into any apartment of the building."

Quite the store, Samuel C. Davis Company was.

Old Cathedral, ca. 1875

From The Great South: A Record of Journeys by Edward King (1875) (freely available online from UNC-Chapel Hill [here]). Looking north along Walnut Street; most of the buildings north of the cathedral were demolished to make way for I-70; the building to the right of the cathedral was demolished for the Arch grounds.

St. Louis Mutual Life Insurance Building, 1871

This fine structure dedicated to insurance was built at Locust and Sixth streets; it was alternatively named the St. Louis Life Insurance Company Building and the Equitable Building (after its main tenants). The building was constructed in 1871, according to Emporis, and has subsequently been demolished. At one time it held the main offices for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. It also was graced with multiple statues along its roofline that were intended for use on the Eads Bridge; this were removed some time before 1886.

"Looking down on the St. Louis of to-day, from the high roof of the Insurance temple."

The two sepia tone illustrations are from The Great South: A Record of Journeys by Edward King (1875) (freely available online from UNC-Chapel Hill [here]). King was quite smitten with St. Louis, remarking on its "continental" flavor that derived from the brown tinge on buildings that came as a result of coal burning.
A later view of the building without the rooftop statues, from Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888). Notice the horsedrawn trolley line.

View down Chestnut from Fourth Street, ca. 1885

From Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888). A charming street view looking east down Chestnut Street from Fourth. Notice the river beyond the levee and the many buildings obliterated by the Arch grounds. Compare with the same view from Google StreetView:

Four Courts Jail and Morgue, ca. 1885

From Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888):

"The Four Courts, a magnificent building, contains the headquarters of the police department, the health department, the several city courts, the court of criminal correction, first district police court, St. Louis criminal court, the jail and holdover. The main building fronts on Clark ave. the length of the block from 11th to 12th sts. and the architectural features of the structure are grand and imposing. The monster jail building is in the rear center while the Morgue occupies the northeast corner of the block, which is the property of the city."

Post Office Building, 1884

From Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888). This depicts the Customs House, one of the most solid structures in the city. The building's foundations rest on granite slabs, which in turn rest on granite blocks that were placed into cores excavated to bedrock. It was constructed during the latter part of the 1870s and into the early 1880s. During the late 19th century, virtually every federal office was located in the building, from railroad mail marshals to U.S. Marine hospital services to the U.S. signal service, which operated an observatory for a time from the dome. The Customs House (now known as the Old Post Office) has been renovated; more information is available at [Built St. Louis].

Old St. Louis City Hall, ca. 1885

From Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888). This print depicts the old city hall, located at Chestnut, Market and Eleventh streets. Many city residents (including Orear) were not fond of the structure; Orear writes that "the City Hall is a monster barn, built of brick, ... and if it does not fall down, it will be because luck is in favor of its occupants." The building later was torn down and the lot currently is the site of the Civil Courts Building (finished in 1929).

Old Courthouse, ca. 1885

From Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888). A splendid little cut of the Old Courthouse, now under the authority of the National Park Service. The angle of the cut suggests it is from Market and Chestnut, looking northwest.

View down Third from Pine Street, ca. 1885

From Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888). This is a print from R.L. Coleman and Co., of the German Savings Institution, depicting the view south on Third Avenue from Pine Street. Orear notes the Merchants Exchange Building on the right. All this was demolished in the 1930s for the Arch grounds and I-70.