SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Planters House: 1901

Planters House: 1901

St. Louis circa 1901. "Planters Hotel, Fourth and Chestnut." Completed 1893; demolished 1976. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

You have to be nuts to stay here.

Or maybe just some Goober from out of town.

Mississippi Valley Trust Company

The short 4-pillared building just to the right is still there. It's the former Mississippi Valley Trust Company, a local bank which "financed transportation and communication networks in the St. Louis region, and was a supporter of the St. Louis World's Fair"

On the left, across Chestnut Street and outside the photo, is the Old Courthouse. This was the site of the famous (or infamous) Dred Scott Decision in 1857.

Cable Cars of St. Louis

When I first viewed this photo, I noticed the electric streetcar in the distance. Then I saw what appeared to be extra tracks, which could have been dual gauge, as Los Angeles once had. Closer examination revealed a slot between some of the tracks, and sure enough St. Louis had cable cars at one time. There were five different companies that operated there, and the last systems closed in 1901, the time of this image. They operated on a unique track gauge of 4' 10". If you need to know where else cable cars operated, you can find that information here.

What are the Odds?!

So many windows, and not a single person gazing from any of them!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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