Like Hansel and Gretel

The Gingerbread House

Saturday started off kind of rainy, but it cleared off enough in the afternoon for a walk. We drove to Forest Park and parked in the lower Muny lot. On the upper Muny lot a new to us festival was going on, The St. Louis World’s Fare. It was a pretty eclectic affair, with many of the regular booths that popup for these types of events, window replacement vendors, siding salesmen and the like. It was kind of a disappointment, except for the 1904 World’s Fair Society’s booth. This is an organization that is dedicated to commemorating the fair that occurred in Saint Louis. In many ways, it was the pinnacle of Saint Louis history. They had a large panoramic photo of the fairgrounds that had been taken from a radio tower at the fair. The fair only ran seven months and most of the buildings that were built for it were only temporary, but a few things survived to today, like the art museum. The Fare took less than an hour to take in and we still needed to get in some steps, so, we headed over to the History Museum.

There they had two new summer shows, Coloring STL and St. Louis Sound. The first one featured the outlines of numerous local landmarks and plenty of dry erase markers for coloring them in with. In addition to the many one-of-a-kind buildings, there was a section devoted to the different local architectural styles that have thrived around town and our house was represented. We live in a “Gingerbread”, so named for their resemblance to the holiday season’s candy-covered treats. This was an architectural style that thrived during the Depression. Our house was built in 1937. Houses in this style are frosted with rough cut stones, heavy timbers, pastel diamonds of stained glass and multiple colors of bricks. For thousands of St. Louisans who scrimped and saved through those uncertain years, buying their own little castle was a fairy tale come true. We didn’t have time to see the St. Louis Sound exhibit, the museum was closing.

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