St. Louis is a community built of neighborhoods—each with its own unique vibe and wonderful attractions and landmarks. This includes some amazing buildings that are both world-class examples of architectural styles and important pieces of local and national history.

central west end
the cathedral basilica of st. louis
A breathtaking example of Neo-Byzantine Romanesque Revival, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis was designed by the architecture firm Barnett, Haynes & Barnett. Construction began in 1907, and the building was dedicated in 1914. However, construction wasn’t fully completed until more than seven decades later in 1988, when the cathedral’s mosaics were finished.

thornhill estate
Built in 1819, the Thornhill estate was home to Missouri’s second governor, Frederick Bates. It is the oldest governor’s home standing in the state. Located in Faust Park, the site includes the home and original barn as well as a second barn built around 1860, a distillery, smokehouse, icehouse, granary and blacksmith’s shop.

hanley house
The oldest structure in Clayton, the farmstead was built in 1855 by Martin Franklin Hanley. The city purchased the property in 1968. After restoring the home, it opened to the public as a museum in 1971, offering insight into what life was like on a 19th century Missouri farm. The museum includes many original furnishings, artifacts and letters that belonged to the Hanley family.

the old courthouse
Once Missouri’s tallest habitable building, the Old St. Louis County Courthouse was built between 1839 and 1862. It was home to several pivotal cases in American history, including serving as the site of the first two trials of the Dred Scott case. Now part of the Gateway Arch National Park, it began a $24.5 million renovation in 2023, which is expected to be completed next year.

grand center
the fabulous fox theatre

Built in 1928 by movie pioneer William Fox, the Fox Theatre was reportedly the second-largest theater in the country when it opened. It was designed by architect C. Howard Crane, who used an eclectic blend
of Asian decorative motifs known as Siamese Byzantine. It originally closed in 1978, and reopened in 1982 following a $3 million restoration.

kirkwood train station
Kirkwood Train Station’s history dates back to 1853 when the first railroad depot was constructed on the land. The current stone structure was built in 1893 to replace the original wooden one. It is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. It is believed that the design was created by Pacific Railroad staff because the original drawings do not have an architect’s signature.

ethical society of st. louis
Completed in 1965, the Ethical Society of St. Louis’ meeting house was designed by modernist architect Harris Armstrong. The striking skyward thrust of its roof is meant to symbolize the organization’s mission to bring out the best in the human spirit. The building’s auditorium also was home to the first baroque tracker organ built in the St. Louis area.

u. city
city hall of university city
The city hall for University City actually began as the home of Women’s Magazine—one of the most widely circulated publications at the turn of the century. The five-story octagonal building was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by local architect Herbert C. Chivers. It briefly sat vacant after its owner, Edward Gardner Lewis, was charged with mail fraud and moved to California. It was dedicated as city hall in 1930.