History museum

The History Museum’s coloring STL offers a creative adventure in architecture | Lifestyles

Coloring STL is an exhibit at the Missouri History Museum that will bring families together around their favorite cityscapes to learn about the architectural history of St. Louis while having fun.

“This is an exhibit that celebrates and explores the architecture of St. Louis in all its shapes, sizes and styles,” explained public historian Andrew Wanko. “We really wanted something that brings this architecture to life in a new way, gives people something they’ve never done before, so we came up with the idea of ​​doing these huge colorable illustrations of the local structures of St. Louis that people could actually color in, in any way their minds could imagine.

The exhibit includes over 50 illustrations of familiar local architectural styles (homes and businesses) as well as famous landmarks. Dry-erase markers in 16 colors are provided to inspire creativity.

The most renowned places include the Fox Theatre, Bevo Mill, the City Museum, Union Station and the Cora Court Motel to name a few. Residential home styles that have long been associated with St. Louis include a shotgun house on The Hill, a 1930s gingerbread house, a Lafayette Square townhouse, and many others. There are also buildings once full of history that have been lost like The Arena and Pevely Dairy.

In addition to the illustrations, vignettes present specific aspects of the architecture and the fascinating people associated with it. For example, guests can learn about the Riverfront Memorial Competition that honored St. Louis with the Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen.

From that competition, Wanko said, there were 171 other entries.

“When you look at some of the other entries, we were very lucky,” he concluded.

Images of some of these other entrances are on display in the exhibit, including one of an 800-foot-tall suspension bridge and a lunar landscape with a transmission tower that would have broadcast educational programs from a station. underground radio.

Other interesting attractions include the sketchbook of Emil Frei, a German stained glass artist who designed the windows of St. Francis Xavier Church (the College). Frei settled in St. Louis and founded a stained glass business there.

Samples of stained glass that once belonged to ordinary people and are still found today in homes in St. Louis are also on display. These works of art were made in a factory in St. Louis and ordered from a catalog for a song.

“It was a massive industry here,” Wanko said. “They were made by the hundreds and sold from these catalogs. People with modest budgets could get some. Their price was usually around $1.30 per square foot, sometimes less. »

Architecture buffs can delve into large flat file drawers containing the original architectural drawings of locally famous buildings like the Fox Theater and some that were never built. An example is a domed “city” for 125,000 people that would collect rainwater from its roof and electricity from windmills on its dome.

Sixty architectural artifacts, including the gates from the Merchants Exchange Building, the original dragon heads from the China Pavilion in Tower Grove Park, and a decorative pendant from the ceiling of the Central Library complete the display.

A 64-page coloring book written by Wanko and illustrated by Rori! is available for $9.95 in the museum’s gift shop. But cost won’t be an excuse not to partake in the fun of creative exposure; free entry.

The Coloring St. Louis exhibit will run through May 5, 2024. The Missouri History Museum is located at 5700 Lindell Blvd. in the forest park. For more information visit mohistory.org/coloring-stl. Take a video tour of the exhibit in the multimedia section of westnewsmagazine.com.