Ice in the Loop! (dragon? get camera)

Ice carving at Fitz'sTuesday Morning, and it’s Frigid.  I’m always in the Delmar Loop Area because we have Story Time at Subterranean Books.  I tend to arrive in the area early and enjoy a cup before walking down the street.  These guys caught my eye and i simply had to share.  Ice in the Loop!

That's Right! An Ice Dragon!That’s Right!  No matter how cold it was, I was determined to get a photo of this Dragon.

Ice carving Demonstration at Ftiz'sIce Visions gave a performance outside Fitz’s and these guys were left over, standing on top of the brick border that surrounds Fitz’s delivery area.  This event was part of the annual Ice Carnival.

Ice in the Loop!It had to be a splendid celebration this year, because it was Cold.  The past couple years, i think there was plenty of fun to be had, and it was crazy comfortable, I doubt people even had to wear coats, it was so warm.  This year, however – our cold days landed on the preferred date, so people could shiver and enjoy.

Fitz’s makes fabulous root beer.  Their motto is, “If it wasn’t better, we wouldn’t make it.”  Its fun to walk by and listen to families laugh together.  There’s always a lot to enjoy, and discover in The Loop neighborhood.

Ice?  Not Often..

Old Post Office & Custom House

The Old Post Office & Custom House was established in Saint Louis right after the Civil War because Saint Louis was one of the five fastest growing cities in the nation.  Hundreds of millions of pieces of mail were were handled in the very first year . . . and each of those pieces were taken care of by hand.  This beautiful building also housed the Federal 8th Circuit Court, which became the largest circuit in the nation.  One of the most famous cases in the 8th Circuit Court was the breakup of Standard Oil in 1909.

Old Post Office & Custom House

By Piaget, HABS photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Alfred B. Mullet designed this building in 1872, including new systems developed after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  There was heating, ventilation, and a way to use plenty of natural lighting.  When the foundation was being created, quicksand was discovered, so over 4,000 pine trees were stuck deep into the land and a four foot thick concrete slab was laid over the top.  Even today there are no cracks in the foundation.

Across from the plaza garden is the Old Post OfficeSince fire was a concern, the entire structure was built of cast iron, using wood only for hand-railing on the grand stair cases.

St. Louis, MOWhen i first arrived in St. Louis there was public interest in saving (or re-purposing)  this historic building.  There sure were plenty of ideas, and it’s taken some time, but now it is open to the public and used for plenty of great things.

Old Post Office Public LibraryI enjoy the “Quick Stop” branch of the public library. Peace and Vigilance with Eagle - “Peace and Vigilance with Eagle” by Daniel Chester French sits smack in the middle of the building, it’s worth the walk inside.  There is also a small museum that’s interesting. Grand Staircase, Old Post Office and Custom House St. LouisThe grand stairwell. Old Post Office and Custom House - tippy-top The “other side” of the building.100_2117Here is a current list of “tenants:”  Webster University,
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District
St. Louis Business Journal
St. Louis Public Library
FOCUS St. Louis
Missouri Attorney General
Missouri Secretary of State
Teach For America
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Missouri Arts Council

Old Post Office Plaza

The Old Post Office Plaza has good reviews online.  City Planners have looked for ways to create inviting spaces in the city, this project is one of several that speak to me.

Torso of Icarus“Torso di Ikro”  (The Torso of Icarus) by Igor Mitoraj.  The overall “theme” is the story of Daedalus and Icarus escaping from Patmos.
Old Post Office Plaza STLThis is referred to as “The Labyrinth” in keeping with the overall theme.  I like all the places to sit and enjoy the moment.  It’s built so you could feel alone, or enjoy time with others.  Kinda perfect for all kinds of stuff, reading, snacking, relaxing, just catching a moment . . .

Old Post Office PlazaIsn’t this a beautiful fountain?  There are steps leading right down to it, the water is clear and spills out like peaceful magic.    Such a Lovely garden Across from the Old Post OfficeTrees along the border of the Plaza, I don’t know what Master Gardener picked the landscaping, but they sure did a great job.  Standing in downtown St. Louis and feeling as if we are in some secluded sanctuary.  I admit that Fall is my favorite season, so the coloring, along with perfect weather, sure helps lift my spirits.  100_2095Here it is, the “Old Post Office,” right across the street.  When it opened in 1873 it was four blocks from the riverfront and people complained it was “too far west.” (The census reports suggests St. Louis is now 66 sq miles, much farther west than citizens in mid-1800’s imagined.)  A lot of ideas have been used to preserve this gorgeous building, using it as a focal point in the city, giving it new purpose and beautiful surroundings seems to be working.  I’m glad.