Graf’s St Louis, Missouri Birdseye Map (1896)

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Birdseye map of St. Louis by Graf – 1896
US40 #18 ST LOUIS, MISSOURI (Birdseye Map, 1896, Graf)
Birdseye map of St. Louis by Graf – 1896 image detail
Date: 1896
Author: Graf
Dwnld: Full Size (15mb)
Source: Library of Congress
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This map is part of a series depicting the 40 largest cities in the United States (as ranked by CBSA). This series will run through the month of July.

[Also posted today: STL Bus Map.]

Here's a great birdseye map of the stomping grounds of your humble curator, the 59 King – it's a place I'm very proud to call home, and one that I fight for every day: St. Louis, Missouri [gmap].

You can find me on the South Side – used to be on the #59 bus line, but see: Metro wants to keep the 59 King off his game, so, guess what bus line I don't live on, now?

I'm not gonna be "the 80 King". The #80 bus sucks. Metro: give me one good reason why the #80 doesn't go to CWE station? You can't get over on t59k though. It's summer and I'm biking everywhere and the punk-assed #80 bus can eat fifty dicks.

Different in tone and technique from the also beautiful 1907 Birdseye of STL, this print has an odd mixture of photograph and illustration ringing the collar.

Gotta love the angel flourishes on the bottom border. Beautiful, sturdy gals... just look at those linebacker shoulders. Sure it's not traditional, but if you can try to make it your thing, then you've just increased your odds for well-proportioned, confident, athletic children.

HuSTLe City: Keep holding it down. You're beautiful, you're vital, and never forget that anything good that ever came from these parts, you and your people had a hand in. We're in this together. STL County: move back and all is forgiven. We need your numbers and no matter what anyone tries to say, you were our people once, and you can be again. We'll welcome you with open arms. Come back and be part of the funnest time you ever had or just be stubborn, grow old, and die pretty close to those two neighbors you sort of know.


And just in case it's been a second since you last saw this... and just because it's summertime and I've been to two barbecues this week and it's such a classic joint for times like these, here's some Country Grammar.

W.C. Handy's St Louis Blues is a fine song, and I'm not saying it sucks or nothing... and, well, "I hate to see that evening sun go down", but once some critical percentage of baby boomers die off we get to make "Country Grammar" our official song, right? I mean, it's been around for a dozen years and it's still great... it's not a flash in the pan or anything.

(And if We're being honest, St Louis Blues is melancholy as all hell and kind of an enormous bummer... and it was written by a guy who didn't spend a whole lot of time here. It sounds like it's lifted from New Orleans' playbook -- and I love New Orleans; so I say we let 'em keep it. Also: you can't dance to it.)

( I'll put it this way: I can't remember last time St. Louis Blues was played at a wedding reception... you follow? So if we want an official city song that's only ever listened to on headphones by neckbeard vinyl-snob assholes, or by morose East-coast "race-record"-fetishizing academics; well, we can just stay the course.)

Also: maybe today I'm just tired as shit of the tyranny of our history, and want to create something entirely new. Hell, on that note, maybe Country Grammar is too old? How about So St Louis (Throwback):

I dunno. Suggestions?

For more map resources and imagery from this period in St. Louis's history, check out the State Historical Society of Missouri's website.

Birdseye map of St. Louis by Graf – 1896 wide thumbnail image, png