1337-1339 S Vandeventer | Map
Architect: Unknown
Apartment complex
Travel this stretch of Vandeventer exclusively on the weekends, as I primarily do, and you won’t catch much life — just quiet warehouses and industrial complexes. But keep a keen eye on the sea of red brick passing you by and you might spot the odd creature protruding above. 
As documented in Bill Streeter’s excellent doc Brick: By Chance and Fortune, St. Louis residences of a certain vintage reflect the eccentric accents made possible by the abundance of construction clay in the area; because the basic framing materials were so readily available, architects and developers were able to get creative in the corners of their work — or, as in this case along Vandeventer, just above the front door. 


Kennard Building | 400 Washington Ave. 
Architect: Isaac Taylor, 1901
J. Kennard & Sons Carpet Co. (1901 - ?) | Edison Brothers Shoe Co. (1954 - 1990s) | WS Hotel & Spa (2000 - 2011) | Roberts Vista (2011 - present)
Isaac Taylor’s proclivity for terra cotta ornamentation began well before his work on the Kennard Building and continued long after its 1901 construction, but nowhere is its influence on his work more evident than at the corner of 4th and Washington.
Part-Italian Renaissance, part-industrial boom carte blanche, the Kennard edifice is quite the contrast to the lonely Mallinckrodt lion up the street, adorned with countless variations of lions, textures, cornices, and more, all of which somehow manage to work together without overwhelming the building. 
See more great detail imagery at Built St. Louis. 


Bannister House | 3824 Lindell Blvd. 
Architect: Unknown
Built as the private home of “Queen of St. Louis Society” Lucy V. Semple Ames, the brick structure now known as Bannister House was lionless until it was incorporated into the campus of Saint Louis University. Now a clubhouse for staff, faculty, and SLU alumni, it is guarded matching stone statues that ward off any unwelcome students. 


Mallinckrodt Building | 901 Washington Ave.
Architects: Shepley, Rutan, & Coolidge | 1892
Mallinckrodt Dry Goods (1892-1940) | Industrial Bank of St. Louis (1940 - 1951) | Bank of St. Louis (1951 - 1990s) | Bankers Lofts (2003 - present)
Most lions, whether flesh and blood or the terra cotta variety, travel at least in pairs, if not a whole pride. Classical architecture is primarily a symmetrical art, employing a balance of elements. 
Yet here, squeezed uncomfortably up against the neighboring Lammert Building, is the lone lion watching over this stretch of Washington Avenue. Are you lost, friend?
At first glance the Mallinckrodt Building appears synonymous with many of the retail/warehouse structures erected throughout Washington’s garment district in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but it doesn’t take much gazing to catch a few stylistic curiosities. The lion was possibly placed here to balance out the ornate mast at the opposite end of the block, but since no similar counterpoint was added to the northeastern corner (along 9th street), it’s hard to be sure. And this guy’s not talking.
More:  Mallinckrodt Building at Built St. Louis Bankers Lofts Site


Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center | 1 University Blvd. 
Architect: I. M. Pei | 2003
As you stretch westward from St. Louis’ urban core, the density of buildings (and lions) around you decreases. The sprawling University of Missouri-St. Louis campus in suburban North County is a perfect example, with university facilities separated by wide swaths of parking lots and grassy slopes.
Added to this landscape in 2003, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center seems particularly distant, located close to the North Campus Metrolink station but not much else. The lion-adorned planters along the circle driveway appear equally out of place, but they at least add a bit of character to what is still, nearly ten years after the building’s construction, a fairly desolate entry plaza. 
Photo by Deanna Dedeke.


3041 Locust | Locust at Cardinal
Architect: Unknown
J.P. Bushnell Packing Supply Co. 
Summer in St. Louis, like much of the US, has been off to a stormy, chaotic start, but the unpredictable weather has produced some great views as storm clouds of all colors and textures suddenly appear to provide an ominous backdrop.
There’s not much on record about the building at 3041 Locust, but like many of the surrounding spaces, it was likely built sometime in the 1910s, was possibly the work of Preston Bradshaw, and probably served as an automobile showroom in its first life. 


Marquette Building | 314 North Broadway
Architects: Eames and Young | 1914
Boatman’s Bank (1914 - 1976) | YMCA (3rd and 4th Floors) / Marquette Condominiums/Apartments (2006 - present)
"Height triumphant," Frank Lloyd Wright allegedly said upon glimpsing the nearby Wainwright Building, widely recognized as the first skyscraper building specifically designed to embrace its altitude. The Wainwright’s influence spread throughout downtown St. Louis (and everywhere else) for decades following its construction, resulting in a whole city full of corner views like the one above. But of those still standing, I find few as striking as the Marquette. 
With the central tower recessed back a bit from the street level facade, that angular trim seems even more pronounced, almost like a defensive barrier protecting the building’s upper floors from attack.
More on the Marquette at STL on Foot.  


Lamp Post | Euclid Ave. at Lindell Blvd. 
Sculptor: Unknown | 1981
Though not actual turn-of-the-century relics, as Wikipedia pegs them, the eight ornate cast-iron street lamps that dot Euclid Avenue in the Central West End do recreate Victorian accents that once populated this pocket of the city and help maintain stylistic continuity west of midtown. Most of the best-known buildings in the CWE (ex.) hail from the 1920s - 1960s, but this section of town was popular as far back as the 1870s (following the incorporation of nearby Forest Park) and grew to prominence in the “lion era” as many of the city’s most influential residents established homes here.


Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Building | 1411 Locust St. 
Architect: Unknown, 1911
YWCA Center (1911 - 1975) | New Life Evangelist Center/KNLC-TV 24 (1975 - present)

There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the lions above, other than maybe their earthy color, a departure from the traditional grey hue of most. But finding them was possibly the most rewarding experience one could hope to have while cataloging animal faces on buildings. 
Though I’m familiar with the New Life Evangelistic Center from its heavy presence on local public access TV, I didn’t know much about the center’s modest but stately HQ. Many of the buildings west of 14th Street were built after the “lion boom” of the early 20th century, but the Italiante touches on the NLEC’s building caught my eye one morning, so I walked by for a closer look and noticed the lions. As I was snapping a few shots, one of the guys hanging out on the center’s front steps asked me what I was taking pictures of.
In the eight months or so since I started this project, this was only time I was questioned about my activity. Unless you look like the Unabomber, nobody pays much attention to someone taking pictures of buildings. “The lions,” I replied, pointing up above.
"What lions?" the guy asked, turning around — at which point he noticed the terra cotta creatures watching over his smoke break. Confusion and skepticism dissolved into surprise. He tapped another guy’s shoulder. "Hey, you know there were lions on this building?" 
By the time I moved along, the number of heads craned upward had grown to five, and the guys began to glance around at some of the other buildings in the area, pointing, pondering. 
"Have a good day, man," one of the guys said to me.


2800 Locust St.
Architect: Unknown 

Lion hunting on Locust St. is not nearly as fruitful as a scan of Olive St. or Washington Ave., but the stretch that runs west from Jefferson to the street’s termination at the conflux of Lindell and Olive is not without its own flair. Much of Locust, once known as St. Louis’ “automotive row” for its concentration of automobile vendors, came of age after the lion era but before the suburbanization of retail. The result is block after block of ’20s- and ’30s-era street-level showrooms that are still, for the most part, structurally intact. Ornamentation has been compromised on many of them, but this structure at the corner of Locust and Leffingwell still bears a row of terra cotta lions just two stories up (which almost make up for the unfortunate wood siding suffocating the rest of the building).