BG

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Armory

The National Guard Armory was erected in 1937. It went into service in 1939 as the Headquarters of Saint Louis' own 138th Infantry.

The 138th Infantry was formed in 1832. It consisted of a volunteer militia company, then called the Saint Louis Grays. Eventually, the various local companies would join to form a regiment of the Saint Louis Militia. The new militia saw combat in the Mexican war of 1846. They were joined by other units, notably the Native American Rangers, Missouri Fusiliers and Boon Guards. They fought together in the battles of New Mexico and Chihuaha. The St Louis Grays would eventually grow large enough in size to become the 1st Battalion of the Regiment. The 1st Regiment would see action in the Confederate Army in the Civil war and was in attendance at the Battles of Shiloh, Mississippi River, Vicksburg, Atlanta, Nashville, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama (1864-1865). The regimemnt would be later called into service for the Spanish-American war (though they didn't leave the U.S.) as well as the First World War.

On October 1, 1917, the unit became the 138th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Division. The newly named 138th would go on to see heavy action in the Meuse-Argonne and Alsace and Loraine campaigns. The 138th would receive thirteen battles streamers for their action in Mexico, the Civil War and both World Wars. In 1974, the 138th was redesignated and shifted around for the next several decades before being deactivated in 2005.

Armories were formed out of the necessity for volunteer militias as a place to store their equipment. By the 1920's, approximately five-sixth of America's military strength consisted of the National Guard, Army Reserve and volunteer militias. By the 2000's, National Guard Units owned more than three thousand armory buildings.

This building was used, like the other armories, for the purpose of storing ammunition and equipment as well as training soldiers. It remained in use from the time of its initial entry into service in 1939 up until some time in the mid 1960's. The below-ground parking garage housed tanks and other heavy equipment during this time. The building was operated by the 138th as late as 1963 and it is unclear exactly when it was closed by the Guard, but it is clear that The Armory was used as a concert venue as early as 1968, when the Grateful Dead performed here. Since then, it was home to an indoor sporting arena and subsequently used by various local schools in need of indoor facilities. It has been abandoned from that use and has been deteriorating ever since, although some portions are still in use for storage and other functions.

Source(s): 1,2

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Soldier's Memorial, Old Clocktower, Theater 2

The Soldier's Memorial in downtown Saint Louis sits above an underground com center for the Emergency Mgmt Agency. It was built in 1938 and funded by the Federal Emergency Admin of Public Works. I've read about a hidden bunker downtown, built during the cold war and it is undoubtedly connected to this same network at some point. Although the bunker is currently only used for storage, the location is a closely guarded secret.

Evidence suggests that the Soldier's Memorial was connected to the original underground Emergency Mgmt Ops Center for Saint Louis, until deemed obsolete. The new facility was built in West Saint Louis County in the late 1950's through the early 1960's. It is a massive, "self-contained underground structure able to operate independently of all common utilities". The plans underway by the late 1950's for the new facility specified that it was: "...To be built sufficiently underground to provide reasonable protection against all the effects of a ten-megaton weapon...The structure is planned to accomodate 400 persons, sleeping and hence eating, etc. in shifts."

The interior of the Soldier's Memorial building is very dated, giving the impression that it is just an old museum. It is, however, definitely still in use by emergency mgmt personnel (with offices above and below the museum level), albeit to a reduced capacity...

This trip occurred in 2009.

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

This Clock Tower is connected to a building that is currently in use and is very difficult to get inside of. You might even go so far as to say it's a Saint Louis landmark.

This trip occurred in 2009.

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

This is a lesser known Saint Louis theater. It is currently undergoing renovation by the new owners, a church.

We had only been inside for a few moments when the caretaker surprised us by her presence. At one point, we were up on the balcony taking photographs. I was lining up my shot when I heard my associates whispering as loudly as possible "Get Down!" I took the picture and lowered my camera to see someone walking around below us. Had they been more observant, we surely would've been busted. We happened to be at just the right place at the right time. I ducked and we laid there on the balcony as quiet as possible. This was one of those situations in which I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. After a few moments, we made a hasty retreat.

Once we regrouped at the car, we decided to go back and have a chat with the lady. She was very polite and informative, but declined giving us a tour.

This trip occurred in 2010.

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

© 2014 sublunar

I didn't realize she was standing there when I took this picture... My comrades had already ducked behind the chairs.

© 2014 sublunar

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cold War Era Storage Bunkers

These bunkers were used to store explosives and other munitions during the Cold War. A major Saint Louis business owns it and has an already well secluded location even more well secured. We still managed to find a way in and after hiking for about 8 miles or more, we found a few bunkers. On our way out, we were supposed to take the scenic route and end up in the thick of bunkerland, but we took a wrong turn. At that point it was already late, so we decided to make it a point to return and find the rest some day.

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

On the way to the bunkers atop a cliff with an incredible view of the hilly landscape, we stumbled across a really freaking old structure in the woods complete with stone steps and a couple water wells. The walls were very rough hewn stone and clearly very old. Then, down the road, we entered a large limestone mine.

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

This was a huge limestone mine.

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar

The business end of a concrete lion. The date of construction is 1909. "Relatives" of this lion can be found on the gates which flank either side of Delmar on the U-City Loop.

Cold War Bunkers © 2014 sublunar