Lafayette Square Historical Archives

Welcome to the Lafayette Square Historical Archives. Our charter is to collect, curate, and share our history in electronic form. If you’ve got a photo or document you’d like added, please contact archives@lafayettesquare.org. The map pictured above is eastern Lafayette Square, from Compton & Dry’s 1875 Pictorial St. Louis. You can read more about this map’s invaluable view of our past here.


1874 – A Cattle Call Is Heard From Lafayette Square December 2, 2018 - Beef - it's what's for dinner...unless you can't turn the cow into beef. Read on about the complications in the days before factory farming in St Louis.
Saturday December 1 – Take A Historic St Louis Holiday Site Tour November 27, 2018 - Here's something guaranteed to be better than hanging out with your nearest screen. Grab a loved one, jump in the car, and take in a few historic sites, all dolled up for the holiday season. Lafayette Square is part of this event - a coordinated effort to bring you a little more in touch with Continue Reading
Ode to Ginkgo, or Eau de Ginkgo – Trees Of Lafayette Square November 18, 2018 - Soon after a craft beer festival in Lafayette Park, a neighbor whose dog was mixing with mine commented on a strong smell, like that of someone having barfed nearby.  That odor actually IS the smell of someone barfing nearby. It’s butyric acid, and it’s formed by the rotting fruit of the female ginkgo tree. I Continue Reading
1889 – The Street Railways Of Lafayette Square November 4, 2018 - 1889 - The Street Railways Of Lafayette Square  In the summer of 2016 a road crew working on Lafayette Avenue in front of Lafayette Park exposed a pair of iron rails. On request, they set them aside, and they lay near Lafayette and Missouri for several weeks. Unable to reach any consensus for display, the Continue Reading
1885 – A Lafayette Square Ghost Story October 21, 2018 - In which Lafayette Square comes to grips with its own supernatural phenomena. Suitable for anyone up for a good historical scare. Happy Halloween from the Lafayette Square Archives.
1874 – Don’t Fence Me In – The Barbed Wire King Of Lafayette Square October 7, 2018 - Between the current 2017 and 2021 Park Avenue addresses once sat the home of a man destined to become one of America's wealthiest. Here's the William Edenborn story.
1815 – Learning To See The Handwriting On The Wall September 16, 2018 - The carving in a carriage house door leads the author in a journey toward the madness of Napoleon.
1921 – Swekosky In His Early Years: Trouble In Paradise September 4, 2018 - Dr. William Swekosky became locally renowned as the "pallbearer of old mansions", but his career got off to a rocky start over affairs of the heart.
Get Hip To Lafayette Square History – Lecture Series Begins Sept 9th At The Kern Pavilion September 1, 2018 - Here's a great opportunity to strengthen your roots here, and enjoy the historical background of Lafayette Square and Lafayette Park. The Lafayette Park Conservancy is sponsoring a series of three lectures at the Kern Pavilion (aka boathouse, at the big pond) in the park. They're free and a great interactive way to learn more about Continue Reading
Four Easy-To-Find Architectural Styles In Lafayette Square July 29, 2018 - A range of opinion exists on the architectural buckets our buildings fall into. Perhaps stimulating the discussion, here's a (likely also debatable) field ID guide to Lafayette Square. Have to start somewhere.