The Swinging Sixties in St. Louis: A City of Cultural Revolution, Civil Rights, and Space Exploration

The 1960s were a time of profound change and upheaval in the United States, and St. Louis played a significant role in shaping the era’s cultural, social, and technological developments. The city witnessed the civil rights movement, the rise of the counterculture, and the booming space industry. Let’s journey back to the 1960s and immerse ourselves in the sights, sounds, and spirit of St. Louis during this transformative decade.

The Civil Rights Movement

The 1960s were a crucial period for the civil rights movement, and St. Louis was at the forefront of this struggle for equality. The city was home to influential figures like Percy Green, a civil rights activist who led protests and demonstrations to fight for racial equality and end segregation. These protests and demonstrations eventually led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Counterculture Revolution

The 1960s also saw the rise of the counterculture, with young people across the country rejecting the values and norms of the previous generation. St. Louis was no exception to this trend, with the city becoming a hub for artists, musicians, and activists who sought to challenge the status quo and explore new ideas.

The city’s vibrant music scene significantly influenced this cultural revolution. Local bands like the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Mama’s Pride blended rock, blues, and country to create a unique sound that captured the spirit of the time. Music venues like the Castaway Club and the Coral Court Motel hosted live performances, providing a space for the city’s youth to come together and express themselves.

The Space Race and McDonnell Aircraft Corporation

St. Louis also played a crucial role in the United States’ efforts to conquer space during the 1960s. Based in the city, the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation significantly contributed to the space program, designing and manufacturing the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft that carried America’s first astronauts into orbit.

The city’s residents took immense pride in their contribution to the space program, with the success of the Mercury and Gemini missions bolstering St. Louis’s reputation as a center of innovation and technological prowess. The space race helped define the city’s identity during the 1960s, with the spirit of exploration and discovery permeating every aspect of life in St. Louis.

#2 Peaceful Picketing At The Jefferson Bank and Trust Company, 1960

#6 People stand in line for food stamps at St. Louis Food Stamp Office, 1325 North Grand Avenue, 1960

#10 St. Catherine Hall, Marillac College, St. Louis, Missouri, 1960

#11 Schober’s Wine Restaurants, 6925 South Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 1960

#23 Anheuser-Busch Brewery – Celebratory Arch, St. Louis, 1960

#25 Detective Checks for Fingerprints at Mercantile Trust Company, 1960

#26 Huge crowd crossing street at 7th and Washington downtown Friday as the biggest shopping Day of 1968 resulted in stores packed to the doors, 1960

#28 Plaza Apartments – Rented like hotel suites, 1960

#37 City Bank, which moved into new quarters at 4981 West Pine, 1960

#40 Workmen sitting idle in the 1600 block of Pine because of strike of hoisting engineers of local 513 which has halted work on Plaza Apartments, 1960

#41 Plaza Apartments – Looking east near 18th & Pine, 1960

#44 Administration Building At Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 1960

#46 Dr. John Whitney, president of the Heritage House Board of Directors and W. Palmer Oliver, 1960

#47 Resembling a huge billboard is steel framework of Heritage House, a 19-story retirement community under construction, 1960

#49 Alpha Garden Apartments at Hodiamont and Etzel avenues, 1960

#51 Lindell Terrace Apartments on Lindell Blvd. and Taylor Ave, 1960

#52 Patrolman stands guard at walk up window of the Gateway Bank, 3412 Union where two holdup men held Peggy Squires, bank teller, 1960

#53 Waldorf Plaza Apartments, at 4011 Delmar bl. containing 100 apartments 1960

#54 Town House Apartments on 2nd and 3rd roof levels, 1960

#55 University Heights Apartments – Approaching completion, 1960

#56 Signing of the Corner Stone for the New Mansion House Apartments, 1960

#57 Grand Tower Apartments Campus Expansion St. Louis University, 1960

#59 Nearing Completion Ahead of Schedule are the Grand Forest low-rise apartments in the Mill Creek Valley west of Compton avenue, 1960

#61 Marmaduke Apartments – Building Bought For Aged Project, 1960

#62 First National Bank in St. Louis proposed new store and office building at the southeast corner of Sixth and Locust streets is scheduled for completion, 1962.

#63 Boatmen’s Bank – Routed By Ammonia Fumes, 1960

#67 Chippewa Trust Company, 3803 South Broadway, 1960

#69 Boatmen’s Bank – Third and Washington At Time of Spanish-American War, 1949

#72 The railings along the eastbound lanes of the new Chain of Rocks Bridge (Interstate 270), which spans the Mississippi River in North St. Louis, 1960

#73 Recently Completed Improvement Of The Cypress Road Bridge, 1960

#75 Link Between Poplar Street Bridge and Daniel Boone Bridge, 1960

#77 Front view of the old Jefferson Club building, southwest corner of Grand boulevard and Pine street, 1960

#78 The ornate Singer Building, Broadway and Locust, was downtown’s pride during the Rutherford B. Hayes administration, 1960

#80 Old landmark of North St. Louis at 3900 Natural Bridge avenue, 1960

#81 The Republic Building, 1960. When this building was completed on the southeast corner of Third and Chestnut in 1873, it was called “one of the largest and finest newspaper establishments.

#82 Tradition claims this structure, erected at Third and Plum in the 1770s, to be St. Louis’ first Court House under United States rule after 1804.

#83 Palace Stables of 1880s at 2938 Olive. Most stables ignored threat of the horseless carriage, 1960

#85 The Old United States Customs House and Post Office, 1960

#86 Construction Of East Approach To The Poplar Street Bridge, 1966

#88 Weaving Highway Ramps–Poplar Street Bridge, 1960

#89 Anheuser-Busch Brewery – New Office Plans, 1960

#91 Anheuser-Busch Brewery – Landmark Ceremonies, 1967

#92 Work progresses on the new approach to link MacArthur Bridge directly to Chouteau avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, 1960

#95 The Kroger Company recently sold these office and warehouse facilities at 1311 South Thirty-ninth street, 1960

#96 Three moving vans shttled the whole night through one night this week to install Americaan Zinc Company in its shining new American Zinc Building at 20 South Fourth street, 1960

#98 Mill Creek Valley, 1960. Town house development in Mill Creek Valley has enough applications to fill all of the 279 units

#101 Lines Outside Busch Stadium at Baseball Clinic, 1960

#103 William Trantina, acting Director of Public Safety, at the scene of the collapsed building, 1209 Chouteau ave., 1960

#104 Palm Street Building Collapsed – Four Children Injured, 1960

#105 Leisure Lounge Wreckage – Chouteau Avenue, 1960

#106 Benedictine Sisters Convent’s Mother-house and Novitiate, 1960

#107 A.D. Brown Building located at 12th and Washington, 1960

#108 Iron workers going into the Iron Workers Union Hall for a meeting, 1960

#109 Iron workers going into the Iron Workers Union Hall for a meeting, 1960

#110 Jefferson Bank and Trust-Dancing Demonstrators, 1960

#112 House Construction Collapse – Henrietta Street, 1960

#114 Dedication Ceremony for New Employment Security Building, 1960

#118 System and Transurban Redevelopment Corporation of St. Louis will erect this 20-level office building at Third and Market in the new riverfront area near the Gateway Arch and Sports Stadium.

#120 North East corner of Broadway and Washington, 1960

#124 Another Line of People Waiting to Visit Main Street, 1960

#126 Riverfront Old Pix Bardenheier Wine & Liquor,1960

#128 Traffic jam at 12th and Clark, showing line of cars trying to get on City Hall parking lot, 1960

#130 The new Anheuser-Busch office building is expected to be completed by January 15, 1969.

#132 Catholic Chancery Office Building, 1960. Nearing Completion is the chancery buiding to house administrative headquarters of the St. Louis Catholic Archdiocese.

#133 But City Official Sees Blue, Situation at Century Foundry, 1960

#137 Halfway To Shambles,1968. This seven-story building at 10th and Lucas streets is being demolished and a parking lot will be built on the site, according to a spokesman for the Hayden Lumber and Wrecking Co. of East St. Louis.

#139 Tenement building owned by firm which Alderman Alfred I. Harris heads is at 4382-88 St. Louis, 1960

#142 New Industrial Building In Mill Creek Valley, 1962

#143 Sixth and Locust, northwest corner. St. Louis first skyscraper made this rather abbreviated appearance in 1878 when Paul Harvey & Co. was selling furnaces, ranges, and stoves at 523 Locust across the street.

#145 Blowing smoke is the Century Foundry at 3711 Market st., 1961

#146 Aerial Picture of Gateway Arch and Busch Memorial Stadium, 1960

#147 Catholic Parents and Children Picketing The Chancery, 1969

#148 Concordia Turners School of Physical Training, 1963

#149 Scene of Dust Blast was a grain elevator at 7900 Van Buren St., which was leased by the Continental Grain Company, 1962

#150 Sold under foreclosure Thursday was the Continental Building at 3615 Olive street, 1962

#153 A four-way cross, designed to look the same from all points of the compass, 1962

#157 The Well-Built Curran Printing Co. Building, 1967

#159 Lights Burning in the New Federal Building, 1964

#161 Crime Alert 1967: Al Kopilevitz and Francis Woodworth- Carr and 23rd

#162 Luxury apartments to be built at 4466 West Pine bl.Architect’s drawing (obverse), 1962

#164 Residents Sit Poolside at the Mansion House Apartments, 1967

#173 New Headquarters for the Farm Credit Banks of St. Louis, 1966

#176 Graduation Day For Players’ Conditioning Class, 1961

#190 Street Dept. Facility located at 2604 Hampton, 1960

#200 Fourth street looking north from Olive showing Everett House on right with porch, 1960

#202 Once one of old St. Louis’ better known hotels, on Fourth between Morgan (now Delmar) and Franklin, the St., 1960

#212 F. W. Drosten was at 619 Olive. 3rd door west of Barr’s Dry Goods Co., 1960

#215 Arrows point to “Two Way Traffic-Keep Right” signs (enlargement below) on south curb at Branch street at west branch of Branch street exit from Interstate 70, 1960

#217 View of Airport Terminal Building and parking area, Lambert-St. Louis Municipal Airport, 1960

#218 Bethesda Town House, divisionof Bethesda General Hospital, 1960

#220 Union Station, Market Street — 18th to 20th sts., Saint Louis, 1960

#221 Roosevelt High School, 3220 Hartford St., St. Louis, 1960

#222 Terminal, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, 1960

#223 Henrici’s restaurant and cocktail lounge, 1960

Avatar of Aung Budhh

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment