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.

Try our “Randomizer” below. It will take you to a document somewhere deep in the vault. Click on the thumbnail and enjoy!


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.
1868 – Founders, Foundries And Statues In The Park July 22, 2018 -   In 1864, the colossal (technically speaking, twice life-size) bronze statue of Thomas Hart Benton, residing currently in Lafayette Park, was cast by Ferdinand Miller at the Royal Metal Foundry of Munich in Bavaria.  This grand giant, the first public monument in Missouri, was the product of a rightly famed sculptress, Harriet Hosmer, who has Continue Reading
1934: John A Bryan On Cleaning The Air In Lafayette Square July 15, 2018 - A tour through the challenges facing a growing city in dealing with its own waste.
1914 – The Life Of A Lafayette Park Policeman July 8, 2018 - The park house used to be a police substation. Here's the tale of a defender of law and order around Lafayette Park.
1938 – Can’t Beat The System: Christian Zeitinger Of 40 Benton Place July 2, 2018 - An indignant man tries to beat the same system that beat him at every turn. He still loses.
1979 – The Pony Was The People – Linda Underwood June 26, 2018 - As the LSRC approaches 50 years, here's early bird Linda Underwood, with a recollection from the LSRC at 10 years.
1960 – The ‘Mayor’ Of Benton Place – Retta Reed June 17, 2018 - Retta Strantz Reed was a key figure in early Benton Place - and more than a little interesting in the telling.
June 12, 7pm – Sqwires Annex – Archives Database Demo. Join Us! June 10, 2018 - The best things in life are free. At least that's our goal with the new Lafayette Square Archives on-line searchable database. Come see it in action Tuesday, 7pm at Sqwires Annex.
1866 – Stephen Barlow Rocks Lafayette Park June 3, 2018 - Walk around the grotto or rock garden in Lafayette Park, and you'll find some history in all that rock work.
1888 – Ignorance Of The Law Was No Excuse May 29, 2018 - It is true that archivists are a form of non-destructive bookworm. I prefer to think of myself more as an old pioneer panning for gold in the cold stream of time. In that spirit, I submit something I ran across recently; from an 1888 version of the booklet “Police Guide And Directory Of St Louis”. Here, Continue Reading