In June 1874 Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman returned to St. Louis to make his home after an absence of almost 14 years. He had been president of the Fifth Street Passenger Railroad, a St. Louis streetcar company, at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Grateful local businessmen raised $30,000 to build and furnish a home for the general at 912 N. Garrison Avenue.
The Shermans lived there for 11 years before moving back to New York City. When his wife, a devout Catholic, died in 1888, she was buried in Calvary Cemetery back in St. Louis. Three years later when the great man died, their children buried WTS (an Episcopalian) beside his wife.
For four hours on February 21, 1891, a procession of 12,000 soldiers, veterans and notables marched past mourners on a winding, seven-mile path from downtown St. Louis to Calvary Cemetery.
The home on Garrison passed out of the family and became a hotel, a rooming house, and after years of decay was demolished without much ado in 1974.
With few exceptions, most of the buildings in St. Louis built before 1890 are gone. What a crying shame! History is important! Are you a member of your local historical society? Do you visit historic sites and support them with the price of admission? What are you doing this weekend?
Discuss among yourselves.
Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build for ever…. For, indeed, the greatest glory of a building is not in its stones, nor its gold. Its glory is in its Age, and in that deep sense of voicefulness, of stern watching, of mysterious sympathy, nay, even of approval or condemnation, which we feel in walls that have long been washed by the passing waves of humanity. It is in their lasting witness against men, in their quiet contrast with the transitional character of all things, in the strength which …maintains its sculptured shapeliness for a time insuperable, connects forgotten and following ages with each other, and half constitutes the identity, as it concentrates the sympathy of nations: it is in the golden stain of time, that we are to look for the real light, and colour, and preciousness of architecture; and it is not until a building has assumed this character, till it has been entrusted with the fame, and hallowed by the deeds of men, till its walls have been witnesses of suffering, and its pillars rise out of the shadows of death, that its existence, more lasting as it is than that of the natural objects of the world around it, can be gifted with even so much as these possess, of language and of life….
–John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture