13 February 2007

Bee Hat Building, 1899

Bee Hat Building
Originally uploaded by Andrew Raimist.

I selected the Bee Hat Building as one of my favorite eleven buildings in the Saint Louis area as published in an article in St. Louis At Home magazine.

This beautiful seven-story loft building was once an important part of Saint Louis's garment district. Washington Avenue became a particularly desirable location following the opening of the Eads Bridge in 1874. Many similar warehouse type structures where erected on either side of the street in the years that followed.

The structure was originally erected in 1899 by another hat company before the Bee Hat Company moved into the building in 1926 when they began operating their warehousing and distribution from this location. The company presently operates from 2839 Olive Street, but remained headquartered on Washington Avenue through the year 2000.

The building has been declared a City Landmark and is Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It is presently undergoing renovations for residential lofts and ground floor commercial space.

The ground floor is surmounted by eleven lions' heads which were originally connected to the building's rooftop drainage gutter system. The downspouts have been directed elsewhere and steam lines have been hooked up to them. The owner of the building intends to have the lions roar on a regular basis.

building: Bee Hat Company Building
location: 1021 Washington Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri
architect: Isaac S. Taylor
date: 1899

You can find the list of all eleven buildings on the Saint Louis At Home magazine's blog.

You can find more of my photographs of the Bee Hat Building on my Flickr photostream.

Photograph by Andrew Raimist, December 2006.

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