The Brick City – Benton Park

Brick and Stone: Architecture and Preservation

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Let’s start this blog post with a catastrophe!

On May 17, 1849, a fire broke out on the steamboat “The White Cloud” docked at the St. Louis levee. The city was crowded with residents and hopeful travelers on the way to the California goldfields. Steamboats were moored in tiers several deep at the levee and the fire spread rapidly to the dozens of riverboats moored alongside and up and down the landing. Before long it spread to the buildings and warehouses along the riverfront and then worked its way inland into the city. Within a few hours the fire had engulfed most of the central core of the city and fire fighters were blowing up businesses in the fire’s path to create a fire break. One of the firefighters was blown to bits in the attempt to save the city, the first recorded fireman’s death in service for the city and in the…

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