Hampton Avenue is close to the western city limits, and to a growing City that took from 1850 to 1900 to seriously expand west from Grand Boulevard to Kingshighway, Hampton would have been considered “out in the boonies.” According to the St.Louis Street Index, the name Hampton didn’t appear on a map until 1913, and only earned its top northern section between Manchester and Oakland avenues in 1921.While there was continual residential development from the 1850s onward in the neighborhoods that surround Hampton Avenue (Oakland, Clifton, The Hill and Southwest neighborhoods), other than small pockets of commercial storefronts dating from the 1920s to the early 1940s, the bulk of Hampton Avenue appears to have been built up in earnest during and after World War 2. Louisans strengthened their commitment to the automobile, Hampton suddenly seemed much closer than before and worthy of commercial development.
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So this wasn’t a case of slotting new modern buildings into a pre-established urban grid (as was the case with Lindell Boulevard modern in-fill), but rather a blank canvas to paint with both the old and new colors available to planners, developers and architects in the mid-century.
Since about 2002, I have been photographing the MCM on Hampton; some of the photos in this study are of a building in a younger or less-molested state.
From the summers of 2010 to 2011, I purposely photographed 107 buildings, and spent way too much time pouring over physical City Directories at the St.
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Charm, who is based in southern California, is just 24 years old, but already killing it on Instagram and Twitter, making her one of the most recognized models in the states. Louis City developed can be read with a drive along the entire stretch of Hampton Avenue.Starting at Interstate 64/Hwy 40 and heading south 4 miles to just past Loughborough Avenue, you will find an even balance of buildings from both before and after World War 2.The emphasis is on “original” because there was little need along Hampton to tear down old buildings to make room for bright, shiny New Frontier buildings because large chunks of Hampton remained vacant land awaiting development at the close of WWII.I did not know this until I began researching the origin of Hampton’s mid-century modern buildings, and was stunned to learn from the 1940 City Directory that there was NOTHING on Hampton between today’s Highway 44 and Arsenal. Or that they didn’t have to knock down a single building to develop the intersection of Hampton and Eichelberger (home of the fabulous Buder Library building) because even as late as 1948 there was still no Directory listing for on that stretch of road. Louis history of post-WW2 mid-century modern always focuses on the flight from City to County, or how old City buildings were demolished to make way for Urban Renewal.But along large swaths of Hampton Avenue, the mid-century modern buildings ARE the original buildings, and to think this happened within the City bounds at such a late date proves how the City of St. This just adds to the schizophrenically endearing nature of our City, and highlights the importance of preserving and celebrating the historical and architectural uniqueness Hampton Mid-Century Modernism.