Built St. Louis > > Vanished Buildings || Cabanne > > St. Philomena Technical School

As it appeared in 1956...

...and as it looked 40 years later, only weeks before demolition. The gable and entrance at the center of the black and white image are at the far right of this photo.

This building was one of several which spurred my interest in St. Louis's neglected architecture. Built in 1910 at the corner of Union and Cabanne, it housed a school that had been in operation since 1845. The school closed in 1970; the building was used as a nursing care and Stella Maris day-care center for a time.

While passing by one day in the fall of 1996, I was impressed by both the building itself, and the state of ruin it had fallen into. I stopped and snapped a few pictures, seen here.

Damage to the building included a complete cave-in of the east wing's roof, as well as the usual broken glass and invasive plant life. Not till I saw the black and white photo on the previous page was I even aware of the handsome round dormer windows that had marked the roofline.

The next time I came by (intending to get more and better pictures), the building was gone. Flattened. Nothing left but bricks and rubble.

How many other times had this happened? A grand, ornate, powerful-looking edifice, eradicated? Maybe I couldn't stop it, but I could at least going to try and document them before they were gone.

In August 2000, I swung by to see if anything had happened with the site. Amid the weeds and trees stood this lonely sign, soliciting support for the Better Family Life Cutural Center and Museum, with a goal of raising $10,000,000.

In December 2005, I passed by again. The red hadn't gone up very much. Further digging reveals that the BFL organization is now working to renovate a nearby school building for their purposes; the St. Philomena site remains a blank slate.

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