ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - An architect from across the globe is in town to showcase some of his drawings of downtown St. Louis. The list did not include sketches of Busch Stadium or the Gateway Arch, but rather a side of downtown that is often overlooked.
Peter Rush made an impromptu visit to St. Louis in March, following a presentation he made at Ball State University in Indiana.
“I love to travel,” he said. “And whenever I travel I like to visit cities. St. Louis is just a bit of a minor detour. And I thought ‘I have to go here.’ And I was just blown away.”
Using pens and colored pencils, Rush sketched various streetscapes, including historic blocks on Washington Avenue and 11th Street. One of his favorite sketches highlights the historic Chemical Building near 8th and Olive Streets.
“There’s this narrow line, this alley here. I mean, these buildings are incredible buildings. They’re quite unique. I’ve never been anywhere in the world where I’ve seen such magnificent buildings.”
Rush wasn’t the only one blown away. After he returned to Australia, Rush emailed some of his drawings to Alex Ihnen, owner of nextstl.com.
“I opened this up and I thought, ‘Wow, this was a real artist,” Ihnen said. “Beautiful buildings and corners of buildings, and some unusual perspectives.”
Rush made a point to not focus on single buildings, but rather the streetscape.
“You can see from 100 years ago, that this was a major, major city. It’s hard to understand how a city can let go of something so valuable. Because the city and these streets are very valuable. And I don’t know what it is. But people should come back here. People should invest in the city. Because it’s going to become a much, much better place.”
Ihnen agreed. He said he is looking forward to an upcoming event showcasing Rush’s work. The pictures, he said, make a statement about the city of St. Louis.
“It should tell us that maybe we should look up a little more, look around downtown and realize we have a lot to show off.”
The Landmarks Association of St. Louis will host the event at its gallery October 7th, at 6:30 pm.