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Another Telephone Building

March 23, 2017

I was driving thru a part of town that I haven’t visited much before and hit the breaks when I saw what looked like a large telephone building. Luckily, an accident was avoided but I imagined what could have been the resulting conversation:

Officer: What was the cause of this accident?

Me: Architectural history obsession.

Officer: Excuse me?

Me: I’m sorry, I was distracted.

Here’s the corner at Natural Bridge and Hamilton.

I finished my nearby errand and circled back to take a closer look. There was no identifying signage, but it certainly had similar characteristics of the other exchanges from the Bell expansion era.

The main entry was on the Hamilton Street side.

Right above the main entrance is a terracotta frieze.

A Bell!

Later, I did a little investigation to see if it is or was a telephone building. It wasn’t listed in the Monument to Communications brochure. So, it must have been after that period.

The handy St. Louis City Properties (stalker) Database show that it is still a telephone exchange.

They certainly went out of the way to stay incognito but there is no hiding from the obsessed!

The scenario I imagined at the beginning of this post is no joke- my first car accident happened in front of a historic building. I was cutting through Forest Park on a lovely afternoon. I was looking up at the St. Louis Art Museum at the sculptures adorning the facade, figures depicting the different branches of the Arts. I was trying to figure out if one of the sculptures could be representing Architecture… Bam! It was a fender bender and fortunately, no one was injured. I was going slow enough that there was only minor damage to the vehicles. The police weren’t summoned so I didn’t have to explain what happened. In the intervening years, I guess I’ve learned how obsess more safely.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2017 11:52 pm

    . Real cool building. Good place for a window washer! Looks like you can “smell’ these buildings out. Strange, looks deserted. 😘

    • Sue permalink*
      March 25, 2017 12:02 pm

      I could hear activity inside but I guess phone equipment doesn’t require a large staff anymore.

  2. Laura Jacoby permalink
    March 24, 2017 1:31 am

    Or get the second one, so you’ll have spare parts for the first one. Or is that just for old motorcycles?

    • Sue permalink*
      March 25, 2017 12:00 pm

      Motorcycle parts probably easier to transport

  3. Lake Rat permalink
    March 23, 2017 7:52 pm

    NO! Please don’t buy another one!


  1. More Phone History | B. A. B.

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