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Free Public Talk: “The Works of Eero Saarinen”


A still from “Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future.”

The St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Steedman Architectural Library of St. Louis Public Library present:

The Works of Eero Saarinen
A talk by John C. Guenther, FAIA

Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm (Steedman Room will be open at 6:00 pm for viewing the collection)
Location: Central Library downtown – Training Room (same floor as the Steedman Room), 1301 Olive Street.

Modern STL Announces Tour of Craig Woods, September 26


Date: Saturday, September 26th
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm (happy hour to follow)
Location: 1232 Dubray Court; Kirkwood, Missouri 63122
Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members


Modern STL is pleased to present the unique opportunity to tour several homes of the historic Craig Woods Neighborhood in Kirkwood, Missouri, as part of our annual home tour. Designed by local modern architect Ralph Fournier and built by Burton Duenke in 1953, the neighborhood became Kirkwoods sixth historic district in 2011. Five homeowners will open their doors and allow guest to get an inside look at how the homes live and feel today.

Following the success of their first neighborhood of modern homes in Crestwood (Ridgewood, 1951-1953), Fournier and Dunke took advantage of an undeveloped plot of land near Sugar Creek to evolve the prefabricated design of the Ridgewood homes to fit the sloping lots of Craig Woods. Of the 49 original homes, each was individually sited in the wooded and sloping lots to take advantage of the beautiful views while at the same time providing privacy.

Throughout the neighborhood you will see variations of the same house design in single story slab on grade, two story (built into the hill), and split level.

Utilizing a simple post and beam construction, modular wall panels (6’8″ wide) were built in a nearby factory and brought to the site once the concrete slab and roof were in place. Once on site, the walls of the homes were erected in one to two days, making for an efficient and economical build. This method is still employed with construction of modern homes throughout the world.

Due to the beautiful setting and modest, though thoughtfully designed modern homes and their dedicated owners, Craig Woods is an extremely popular neighborhood that is set to thrive for another sixty years.

Consider making a tax deductible donation to ModernSTL’s preservation fund while enjoying complimentary drinks and snacks.

The International Style in St. Louis Commercial Architecture

The Century Electric Building at 18th and Chestnut streets, designed by L.B. Pendleton and William B. Ittner Inc. (1947). Today the building stands completely unrecognizable.

The Century Electric Building at 18th and Chestnut streets, designed by L.B. Pendleton and William B. Ittner Inc. (1947). Today the building stands completely unrecognizable.

Last month Modern STL’s Vice President Michael R. Allen, also the director of the Preservation Research Office and a Washington University adjunct faculty member, published a comprehensive article on the history of the International style in St. Louis commercial architecture, for our partner organization DOCOMOMO US. Developed by European pioneers like Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, the International style influenced thousands of American buildings, from high-style office towers down to small retail buildings and gas stations. St. Louis, it turns out, embraced the style more than is commonly assumed. You can read the entire article, which covers buildings ranging from Harris Armstrong’s Shanley Building (1937) in Clayton through Edward Larrabee Barnes’ 1010 Market Street (1981) in downtown St. Louis, here.

Modern STL Seeking Website Assistance

Modern STL needs to revamp its WordPress-based website. We invite proposals to assist with this task, and promise that we will compensate anyone who can help us bring the site into a new age. Please contact Board President Neil Chace at if you have interest and availability.