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Mississippi Nights, St. Louis

Mississippi Nights was a St. Louis nightclub that featured live music. It was open from 1979 to 2007.

Mississippi Nights stood at 914 1st Street, on Laclede’s Landing. Originally a country venue, it is primarily remembered as a rock club, particularly for hosting modern rock, both national and local acts.

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Brains 25 cents: The story behind the meme

There is a popular photograph of a rundown urban building with a painted sign that says “brains 25 cents” with an arrow and words “drive in” pointing toward the back of the building. What’s the story behind the sign?

The “brains 25 cents drive in” painted sign was on the second story of Harvey’s Sandwich System, a diner at the corner of Chouteau and Carr Lane Avenue in St. Louis. The restaurant closed in 1976, the sign was demolished in 1983 or 1984, and the building was demolished in 1993.

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Abandoned castle in Oakville, Mo.

The existence of an abandoned castle in Oakville Mo. will either be the most obvious thing in the world to you, or an absurd thought that would never cross your mind. And yet, behind Bee Tree Park, abandoned in the woods, there are, or were, ruins of a Scottish castle overlooking the Mississippi River that dated to the 1920s that was never finished.

Oakville had an abandoned hospital in the woods on the north edge of town. So why not an abandoned castle in the woods on the opposite end of town?

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History of St. Louis style pizza

Few things in Missouri are more divisive then St Louis style pizza. From how you define it to who invented it to who copied who to even whether it qualifies as pizza at all is divisive. And the history behind it is surprisingly badly understood. So who invented St Louis style pizza, and when? What is the history of St. Louis style pizza?

Amedeo Fiore, proprietor of Melrose Pizzeria, served a prototypical thin-crust St. Louis style pizza starting around 1945, and created the market for pizza in St. Louis, in addition to probably deserving credit for inventing the style. Joe and Lou Parente, proprietors of Parente’s Pizza, were probably the first to use provel on pizza, sometime in the early to mid 1950s.

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Pantera’s Pizza history

On Fridays, a lot of families order pizza to celebrate the weekend’s arrival. In the 80s, we often went out for pizza instead. And while for a lot of Gen Xers that meant Pizza Hut, it wasn’t the only game in town. In eastern Missouri, including St. Louis, the dominant pizza chain was Pantera’s. Let’s take a look back at Pantera’s Pizza and its history.

Pantera’s Pizza is a mostly defunct pizza chain that specialized in a 5-pound pizza it called The Hunk, and its commercials featured two characters named Betty and Mario, often containing the catchphrase, “What a hunk!” It was up to the viewer to decide whether Betty was referring to the pizza, Mario, or both.

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Crystal Palace, St Louis

The Crystal Palace in St Louis was a short-lived but legendary night club. It predated Gaslight Square, but moved west on Olive to join the up-and-coming district as it grew in popularity. The move benefited both. During its heyday on Gaslight Square, it was a combination saloon and 300-seat theater.

The Crystal Palace only operated for about 16 years, but it put St. Louis on the map, attracting national acts. Its mix of Victorian architecture, a cobblestone sidewalk, traditional lights, and antique decor inside is still widely imitated.

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City Hospital, St Louis

The Old City Hospital in St. Louis operated from 1845 to 1985. The present-day structure dates to 1896. Initially founded to deal with a severe cholera outbreak, the City of St. Louis owned and operated the hospital for nearly a century and a half.

Old City Hospital in St. Louis occupied five city blocks at the intersection of 14th and Lafayette Avenue. A public hospital serving the poor and uninsured, it had a capacity of approximately 1,100 beds.

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Gaslight Square, St. Louis

Gaslight Square was a popular arts and entertainment district in the St. Louis Central West End neighborhood whose heyday ran from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s. It was a three-block area near the intersection of Olive and Boyle, a mile or so north of what’s now the Cortex District. Today, suburban-style housing stands where the clubs and shops once stood. One business with a Gaslight Square connection remains, operating nearly three miles away.

Gaslight Square was a phenomenon, a widely cited example of urban redevelopment, born of a tornado, and extinguished by a highly publicized murder. Despite its best efforts, St. Louis has never replicated it.

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Homer G. Phillips Hospital, St. Louis

Homer G. Phillips hospital in St. Louis was a public hospital owned and operated by the city of St. Louis from 1937 to 1979. Between 1937 and 1955, when its hospitals were segregated, it was the only hospital for Blacks in St. Louis. It holds the distinction of being the first teaching hospital to serve Blacks west of the Mississippi River.

Homer G. Phillips hospital was named for a prominent lawyer who recognized the inadequacy of the existing Black hospital in St. Louis and led a campaign for a larger facility. It had 685 beds, stands at 2601 N. Whittier Street, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was largely vacant for 23 years but reopened as senior living apartments in 2003.

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