Chris Naffziger

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2014

    The Sad End of Bethlehem Lutheran Church

    Demolition crews have been working on the ill-fated Bethlehem Lutheran for the last week, following the collapse of one of its exterior walls. The historic Hyde Park church, which we wrote about back in January, will also cease to exist in the next month. The church has sat vacant for the last 25 ye ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    The Spivey Building: East St. Louis' First and Only Skyscraper

    East St. Louis, Illinois, doesn't appear in many architectural guidebooks, but it should. Located just across the river from downtown St. Louis, the city boasts some of the most interesting architecture in the whole region. While much of the city's building stock has fallen victim to neglect and dem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2014

    UMSL's Short-Sighted Plan to Demolish a St. Louis Landmark: Incarnate Word Convent

    Last week, I examined the 200-year history of the Normandy and Bel-Nor area and its critical link to St. Louis' charitable and architectural legacy. Those proud institutions received a new neighbor just over 50 years ago with the addition of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) campus. Built ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2014

    The "Castles" of Normandy and Bel-Nor

    One hundred years ago, if you were traveling out northwest just past St. Louis city limits toward St. Charles, you would see a landscape dramatically different than today's suburbia along the St. Charles Rock and Natural Bridge roads. Rolling countryside and farm fields would yield to an impressive ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2014

    St. Louis Originals: The Churches of the South Side

    After my article about north St. Louis churches, many readers contacted me and asked if I could do a follow up focusing on south St. Louis churches. I realized there are dozens of churches that could fit in this space based on just their sheer beauty, but in the end I decided to focus on churches th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2014

    Mullanphy Emigrant Home: North St. Louis Landmark Slowly Returning to Glory

    Everyone loves a great lost cause. In 2007, RFT named the efforts to save the Mullanphy Emigrant Home as the "Best Lost Cause" of the year. Coming around on seven years later, the Mullanphy has stood proud, battered by dozens of brutal storms as ferocious as the one that toppled its southern wall y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Cherokee Street's Cinderella Building Finds Its Prince Charming

    The Cinderella Building proudly sits in the middle of the booming Cherokee Street shopping district just west of Jefferson Avenue. It is easily one of the largest buildings around and continues to host a variety of businesses on its first floor. Continuously occupied since its construction, the once ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2014

    Support Grows to Save Lewis & Clark Library

    Mid-century modernist architecture sits at the crossroads in St. Louis. It is reaching the age where many of its detractors consider it obsolete, a relic not attuned to the needs of present-day society. Meanwhile, the average American sees this period of architecture with a mix of suspicion or indif ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2014

    LaFarge Pokes Veteran's Administration for Plans to Destroy Palladium

    One of St. Louis' most popular musicians entered the fray to save a nightclub pivotal to the history of St. Louis' music. In a op-ed letter published on St. Louis Public Radio's web site, Pokey LaFarge chastised the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' desire to raze the Palladium (Plantation Club) ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2014

    The Threat to Historic African-American Music Venues in St. Louis

    The contribution and influence of African-American artists to the St. Louis sound and the universal music scene is undeniable. From Scott Joplin to Chuck Berry and countless others, St. Louisans have helped define what ragtime, jazz, the blues and rock 'n' roll are today. Scattered around the city, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2014

    From the Eads Bridge to Stan the Span: 140 Years of St. Louis Bridges

    The opening of the Stan Musial Veterans Bridge in downtown St. Louis marks an important milestone in the history of the mighty bridges that cross the Mississippi River in the City of St. Louis. Almost a half century has passed since the last bridge, the Poplar Street Bridge, opened in 1967. But the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2014

    Old Breweries Tell the Forgotten Legacy of Falstaff Beer in St. Louis

    It's a common myth around St. Louis that Anheuser Busch was the sole brewery in St. Louis to survive Prohibition and the only locally brewed beer from 1933 until the opening of Schlafly in 1991. In reality, A-B was the only brewing game in town for less than two decades. Before that, the Falstaff Br ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2014

    The Chatillon-DeMenil House Needs Your Help

    Operating a small, historic house museum is never easy, even in the best of times. In the worst of times -- such as earlier this month when a a pipe burst and destroyed new carpeting and other renovations at the Chatillon-DeMenil House -- the challenges of fundraising and logistics can seem overwhel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2014

    Mausoleums Recount St. Louis Beer War Between Rival Clans -- Lemps and Wainwrights

    Sitting high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, Bellefontaine Cemetery's Millionaires' Row is home to the city's greatest collection of grand neoclassical mausoleums graced with names that read like a who's who of prominent nineteenth-century St. Louis industrialists: Brown, Mallinckrodt, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2014

    Introducing RFT's New Critic-at-Large, Malcolm Gay, and Architecture Critic, Chris Naffziger

    We're excited here at Riverfront Times to announce the addition of two new contributors for 2014. Actually, in the case of one of them, "newish" contributor is more appropriate.

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    Pride Immortalized in Stone: The Gothic Revival Churches of North St. Louis

    Despite its image in local news, North St. Louis possesses some of the most beautiful and interesting architecture in the St. Louis area. As Irish and German Roman Catholic immigrants poured into St. Louis beginning in the mid-Nineteenth Century, the need for a growing number of churches caused the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    Letter to the Editor: Please Shovel Your Sidewalks, St. Louis!

    Even with a sturdy shovel in hand, the foot-high snow banks left by this weekend's winter storm seem impenetrable. But before you decide to wait for this week's warmer temperatures (if you can call below freezing "warmer") to melt the snow on your sidewalks, consider this note from Daily RFT's new ... More >>

  • News

    January 24, 2013
  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    Meet Your 2013 RFT Web Awards Judges

    "Nothing demonstrates what a critical asshole I am more than judging the RFT Web Awards." -- Anonymous So said one of our esteemed judges during a marathon session this week to determine this year's RFT Web Awards winner and finalists. It's true. Our judges are a discerning bunch for good reason. A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2012

    Pictures of Damage from Hurricane Sandy or Just Another Day in North St. Louis?

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, an oddly poignant article in the Onion said it well: "Gradually comprehending that this sort of thing is now just a fact of life, citizens all across America stared blankly at images of destroyed homes, major cities paralyzed by flooding, and ravaged communiti ... More >>