B.E.L.T.: Built Environment In Layman's Terms


While cleaning out old bookmarks today, we hit upon B.E.L.T. (B.E.L.T.: Built Environment In Layman's Terms), which we had apparently urgently bookmarked twelve months ago.

The weblog documents many of the hidden treasures in greater the St. Louis area, that wonderful crossroads between the south, the southwest, and the midwest. Because St. Louis is a very small city that a century ago was competing with Chicago for midwest dominance, so living there is like living in your great-grandmother's attic: there are unique treasures everywhere, decaying and long forgotten. We should know: we lived there for five years, when we attended Washington University as an architecture undergraduate. The architectural treasures of St. Louis span from the World's Fair of 1904 (The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, which gave Washington University most of its original buildings), to the mid-century midwest modernists, to the modernist prototype department stores, to art deco inspired Route 66 motels, to a few scattered inspired post-structuralist architects in the late 1980s. The treasures are in many cases rapidly disappearing. We're glad that B.E.L.T. is there to document it.


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