The St. Louis Central Library is like a cathedral for books. It is a truly remarkable building. But even before I saw that library branch, I was intrigued by another member of the St. Louis Public Library family…the Buder Branch at 4401 Hampton.
This was actually one of the first buildings I noticed when we moved to St. Louis over 15 years ago, probably because it was located right by the Target store at which we first shopped. The turquoise details, the windows, the unique shape all make it a very notable structure.
The interior, while modern, also fits the exterior of the building perfectly.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the library is the spiral staircase, which goes from the basement to the third floor, and is flanked by curved windows made of wavy block glass.
The library wasn’t the first resident of this building. It was originally built as the Hampton Bank of St. Louis in the 1950s (which explains the mid-century modern vibe), and was also home to Missouri Savings and Loan and the Metropolitan Sewer District of St. Louis. The library moved in in 1998, relocating from another mid-century modern building on Hampton which now houses the Record Exchange. It’s good to see this unique building serving the community and busy with students, families, and other people who have a love of books and learning!
Mid-century modern design has really grown on me in the last few years, so when I saw this cool mid-century house skirt from The Oblong Box Shop, I knew I had to have it. It was the perfect thing to wear to the St. Louis Modern exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum earlier this month (I can’t tell you how many staff members there complimented me on it!), and it’s also great for wearing on a day ending in “y” just like my “Jetsons” skirt from the same designer is!
Denialle Von Fitch, owner and designer of The Oblong Box Shop, has teased a mid-century modern furniture skirt, which will be available later this year…I can’t wait to add that to my retro collection, too!
Today we visited the St. Louis Art Museum to see the St. Louis Modern exhibition before it closes at the end of the month. This is normally a paid exhibition, but the museum has a “Free Fridays” program where you can request up to six free tickets!
There wasn’t much photography allowed, but I did get a picture of the corvette they have displayed at the entrance to the exhibition:
And we got to have a hands-on experience in creating our own mid-century modern designs…it was very fun!
We also got to try out this very comfortable mid-century modern chair!
There were many other cool things to see. Quite a bit of furniture, including chairs, desks, tables, and lamps, art, photographs of architecture, textiles, an awesome radio, dinnerware…even a small-scale model of the Gateway Arch! My favorite part of the exhibition was an Emil Frei stained glass window…how I wanted to take a picture of it!
The children didn’t really have a grasp on what constituted mid-century modern design before our visit today, but after walking through the galleries, they’ve decided we should add some mid-century elements to our home!
We are very fortunate to have such a great and free art museum so close to home!