PHOTO FLOOD SAINT LOUIS

A surge of images along the banks of the Big Muddy.


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Photo Flood 38: North Hampton

<a href="http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4245"><img src="http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4245&amp;size=full&quot; alt="northhampton001" width="463" height="309" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4245"

photograph by Ann Aurbach

North Hampton is a neighborhood most often driven around by St. Louisans. This is not to say that you shouldn’t want to go there, but rather, that three of its four borders are major thoroughfares for South City. Wedged neatly between Lindenwood Park and Tower Grove South, North Hampton is a pleasant residential neighborhood with an excellent collection of mid-century bungalows.

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4246″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4246&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton014″ width=”309″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4246″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis</p>

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<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4247″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4247&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton020″ width=”309″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4247″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Jason Gray</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4248″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4248&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton006″ width=”463″ height=”423″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4248″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Michelle Williams</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4249″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4249&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton009″ width=”463″ height=”278″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4249″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Susan Price</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4250″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4250&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton005″ width=”463″ height=”309″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4250″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Michelle Williams</p>

Although most St. Louisans may be most familiar with the neighborhood from driving around it, to write North Hampton off as merely a sleepy enclave would be a mistake. Maybe it is the fact that the area is primarily residential with not many intraneighborhood businesses, or that it rests in the shadow of hip Tower Grove South, or that it is essentially a buffer zone between an older, German, Catholic South City and the newer, proto-suburban St. Louis Hills, but North Hampton has a distinctive oddness (for lack of a better term) possessed of something not found in other areas of the city. Take for instance, the gnome cottage pictured above, or an entire street with each house hoisting an identically sized American flag, or even the fact that two neighborhood youth organizations, the YMCA and Gateway Soccer Association, rub up against the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (not to mention the Missouri Crematorium!). One thing is for certain, this neighborhood is idiosyncratic.

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4251″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4251&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton017″ width=”463″ height=”308″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4251″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Jason Gray</p>

As testament to this, another member and I had the good fortune to run into the family pictured above. While photographing the house next door, the gentleman inquired as to why we were photographing homes in his neighborhood. This is a natural skepticism that we often encounter on residential streets because it is not always a positive thing to have the place where you live photographed by a stranger. After I explained the premise of our organization, the man stated that he wished to take our picture with my camera. With some trepidation, I agreed. I showed him where the shutter button was and he snapped a few shots of us on the path to his front porch. Whatever concerns the homeowner had about our motives melted away after this interaction. The man then offered some information on his house and those of the neighborhood. He said that all of the houses immediately around were (paraphrasing), “built by Sears for the military.” He offered to have us come inside his home to see a plaque noting its origins.

In fact, the home was not built by Sears, but by Gunnison, another pre-fabrication home builder that became prominent slightly after Sears’ pre-fab homes experienced their own peak in popularity. Like the Sears homes, Gunnisons were usually built in areas nearby industrial plants (like the ones that dot the north side of North Hampton, just a few blocks away). While I could not find any historical reference to the neighborhood having a military origin, Gunnison homes were popular among soldiers returning from World War II, which is likely the true connection, especially since many former soldiers took factory jobs once back in the US.

There is more to our colorful interaction, which I’ll keep off the record, except to say that the man and his warm and kind family are an excellent example of the folks you should expect to encounter in North Hampton- protective of their streets, yet still inviting to strangers, interested in the history of their neighborhood, and committed to friends and family (in-laws were visiting, and all were assisting a neighbor with a garage sale). The fact that North Hampton possesses <strong>two</strong> dedicated neighborhood associations (<a href=”http://www.tillesparkneighborhood.com/blog/”>Tilles Park Neighborhood Association</a> and <a href=”http://www.kingshighwayhills.com/”>Kingshighway Hills Neighborhood Association</a>) is testament to this as well.

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4252″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4252&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton002″ width=”463″ height=”308″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4252″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Ann Aurbach</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4253″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4253&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton004″ width=”463″ height=”309″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4253″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4254″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4254&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton019″ width=”463″ height=”308″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4254″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Jason Gray</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4255″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4255&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton016″ width=”308″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4255″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Jason Gray</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4256″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4256&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton007″ width=”309″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4256″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Michelle Williams</p>

One of the earliest non-agrarian businesses in North Hampton was the Missouri Crematory. Built in 1888, the Crematory was the first to practice cremations west of the Mississippi. The Columbrium, added later, was designed as a final resting place for cremated remains. Both structures are beautiful, a little spooky, and definitely unexpected for the area today.

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4258″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4258&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton012″ width=”463″ height=”309″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4258″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4259″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4259&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton003″ width=”463″ height=”309″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4259″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Michelle Williams</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4260″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4260&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton011″ width=”309″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4260″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Ann Aurbach</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4261″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4261&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton013″ width=”463″ height=”309″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4261″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Ann Aurbach</p>

Today, North Hampton is a desirable and safe neighborhood to call home. Centrally located, the area is within a quick drive or bike ride to most of South City. Tilles Park, named after the older park in St. Louis County, provides recreational opportunities for residents, and was full of activity on our visit. If you have not yet set foot in North Hampton, consider stepping out next time you are driving along its borders. No doubt, you will be rewarded with its pleasant surprises.

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4262″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4262&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton008″ width=”463″ height=”309″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4262″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Ann Aurbach</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4263″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4263&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton010″ width=”309″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4263″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Michelle Williams</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4264″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4264&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton015″ width=”309″ height=”463″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4264″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis</p>

<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4267″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4267&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”northhampton018″ width=”463″ height=”308″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4267″ /></a><p style=”text-align:center;”>photograph by Jason Gray</p>

MAP:
<a href=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4268″><img src=”http://www.photofloodstl.org/index.php?aam_media=4268&amp;size=full&#8221; alt=”12011345_686919074742755_3227817020615143462_n” width=”900″ height=”689″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4268″ /></a>

Our end point for Photo Flood 38 was to El Tapatio, but we had to take a rain check due to busy Flooders’ schedules. We’ll visit you someday, El Tapatio!

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Mini-Flood 35: STL-Style

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photograph by Jackie Johnson

Clever design duo, Jeff and Randy Vines set up shop on a corner storefront along Cherokee Street five years ago (in 2010), and built a t-shirt empire. That said, STL-Style is not merely a St. Louis-themed apparel boutique; it is the ethos for an entire movement to revitalize the city, fueled by two vocal brothers whose love for STL is without limits.

As STL-Style turned five, the Vines and 400 or so of their closest friends celebrated with the Half-Decade Escapade, an afternoon filled with food, booze, live music, and all of the color and character that makes this business truly special.  Photo Flood Saint Louis wouldn’t have missed this event for the world; hopefully you didn’t either!

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photograph by Jason Gray

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Mini-Flood 32: Castlewood State Park

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photograph by Michelle Williams

Castlewood State Park is a hiking and biking destination not far from downtown St. Louis. Long ago, the area that is now the park was used as a bucolic retreat from life in the city. Visitors reveled here well into the 20th century, when speakeasies and dinner clubs sprouted along the bluffs of Castlewood. These, of course, are now long gone, but the immense, natural beauty that originally lured visitors remains steadfast.

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photograph by Patrick Gioia

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Photo Flood Saint Louis at Whitebox

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Come visit with members of Photo Flood Saint Louis on Friday, April 10th, during the opening for a PFSTL themed exhibition curated by Andrea and Sarah-Marie Land, whose statement is below.

“The Exhibition explores a variety of photographic perspectives and enigmatic experiences in direct relation to specific spaces in St. Louis. Investigating the color photographs, the audience is presented with a dynamic collection of environmental landscapes ranging from downtown architectural structures to aerial perspectives of Lafayette Square gardens to a community swimming pool at Fairground Park. Working on both an individual and collaborative basis within the context of the group, the community of Photo Flood photographers strives to create a connection between other photographers, as well as presenting work to a diverse and widespread audience. Following, on a monthly basis, the assemblage of artists dedicates several hours to visually investigating a distinctive neighborhood in St. Louis. The images in the exhibition span the duration of several years and suggest a distinctive acquaintance with the city. Interacting with the work, new experiences arise with familiar spaces and structures as the photographers experiment with such elements as angle, proximity, and saturation.”

Exhibiting Artists: Jason Gray, Steven Ley, Theresa Harter, Chris Naffziger, Patrick Gioia, Yeni Kulka, Ann Aurbach, Amanda Joern, Anne Warfield, Scott Jackson, James Palmour, Dawn McCausland-Mills, Kait Mauro, Dan Henrichs, Diane Cannon Piwowarczyk


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Photo Flood 30: Hamilton Heights

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photograph by Diane Cannon Piwowarczyk

Hamilton Heights is a neighborhood of vast potential. In the 1940’s, this area experienced its “golden days”, when the turn of the 20th century homes possessed a not too tired character, celluloid beamed brightly in the local movie theaters, and streetcar lines serviced the main business corridors. Today, much of that original housing stock has deteriorated (about 45% of the existing homes were built before 1940 and another 45% after 1980), though what remains offers many possibilities.

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photograph by James Palmour

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