Studio 801 (in Carondelet Mo.)

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The Studio 801 building is located in the area of South St. Louis, Missouri once known as "The Common Fields" of Carondelet, Missouri. The City of Carondelet was founded in 1762 by a Frenchman, Clement Delor de Treget and was named the village of Carondelet in 1794, (for the, then, Spanish Governor General of Louisiana, Baron Francisco de Carondelet). In 1832 Carondelet was incorporated as a town. In the 1850s it was became a city.

Even thought the citizens of Carondelet had nothing to say about the change in governance, in April of 1870, the City of St Louis annexed City of Carondelet making it the Southern most geographic area of the city. Even though Carondelet is now in boundaries of St. Louis, It has kept its own identity as a small city.

(All the above information and much more can be found in: History of Carondelet, by NiNi Harris, 1991)

These four publications have been written as a history and celebrations of Carondelet. The first booklet, "Carondelet Centennial" (30 pages,) was written in 1951 to honor Carondelet on its 100th anniversary of becoming a city, (even though it was no longer independent.) The second "Reflections of Carondelet" (40 pages) was written in 1966 for Southern Commercial Bank, as part of its 75 Anniversary year. Then "Carondelet Days", (48 pages,) 1973 was a program of a community celebration with area history written by Ernest E. Winkelman. The last (and personal favorite) is "History of Carondelet" By NiNi Harris, again for Southern Commercial Bank, this time for its 100th Anniversary year.

This Map and painting of Carondelet are from "Reflections of Carondelet" (1966). The area in the upper right of the map was known as the Common Fields of Carondelet. It is where Studio 801 is located . The painting of Carondelet is by Marlene Busch (1966). It was painted from a lithograph by Thom. Schrader (1873)

Studio 801- Then & Now
At the end of the 19th century the area of South St. Louis where the Studio is located was very sparsely populated. The Studio building was originally built in 1907, by Anton Hegadorn. Very little information has been uncovered relating to this period of the buildings history. What is known however is, at this time the building had no indoor plumbing, no central heating system and it had a board walk around it, instead of cement sidewalks. Indications of these items have been found during studio reconstructions and renovations.

The Studio building catered to residents of the area who either walked or road horses to it. The building was located 4 city blocks west of the short-lived Virginia Avenue Streetcar line, and was 10 blocks South of the Grand Ave Streetcar Loop which was located at the northern most boarder of Carondelet, Meramec Street. As the population of the area grew, there also grew a need for these new residents to get their daily supplies. At this, the dawn of the automobile era, residents had very few easy ways to get their daily necessities. Like many cities, the cityscape of St. Louis was dotted with many corner "Mom & Pop" Shops. These store-fronts, housed Grocery Store, Drug Stores, Hardware Stores, Dry Good Stores, Bakery Shops and even, Ice Cream Shops & Taverns. They also housed the owners family's in apartments located above the shop. These businesses were very busy and their profits supported the store owner's family needs. Before the inception of gigantic, box chain stores, like Walmart Super Stores, Lowes Hardware Stores, Target Department Stores, and Walgreens Drug Stores.

Today many of these store fronts have become unwanted broken down shells and eye sores. This building is used today as a full service "Art Studio" and has been restored as a fully functioning residence as well.

These wonderful images show the "Studio 801" building today and when it was a mere 20 years old. In the 1920s, it housed the thriving "Jost's-A.G." Grocery Store, (image is ca. 1926,) The vintage images are complements of Mr. David Ray, (Grandson of Mr. Jost the store's owner.) The other image was taken by Gary Stevenson, current building owner. This more recent image show this same storefront after store window restoration. (see "Re-Construction" at the bottom of this page for details of restoration designs.)
These interior shots show the "Jost-A.G." Grocery Store in the 1920s and the Studio as it is today. Both of these images were taken from the corner door looking north and show the same room. In the later image you can see that a wall now divides the store in half. As noted by Mr. Ray, the light fixtures are the same, though the globes have been changed and their locations have shifted.

In 1926, the Studio building had a wood clapboard shed with two brick walls that set behind it. This shed was used to house the store's supply of "Flower and Feed." (see the sign painted on the Shed.) In 1983 a two car two story garage was built on this site in the 1980s. The sheds foundation and an old privy site were encountered during the construction of this new building.


In this 1926 image of the "East Side" entrance of the "Jost" A. G. Grocery Store, there is an unknown local boy with his dog. Of special note, are the two bill boards with broadsides, both with assumed period advertising. There is also a cast iron horse watering trough that has been converted into a flower box, a sign of the new dawning automobile age. In the modern image both the signs and trough are gone and a tree was planted to supply the building with shade. If the actual building is examined closely, one can find traces of the green paint the sign frames were painted.

In this image from 1925, a vary young Miss. Jost, Daughter of the store's owner (and Mr. Rays Mother) stands looking North, at the stores side entrance. Please notice the wooden hitching post to her right, next to the fire hydrant, as well as the rod-iron grate that was below the store windows. These were identical to those found in the front of the building below the store's windows.
Two proud building owners stand, nearly 80 years apart. The boarded-up window in the recent image was a blank canvas in which to update this building's exterior look. As an art studio, light is wanted but there is no longer a need to display the many products for sale, as in 20s. These windows have been raised and re-designed to maintain the vintage look of the building.
Mrs. Jost, the store owners wife (and grandmother to Mr Ray) & Mrs. Stevenson current building co-owner.
The Ending of the Store Days!
By the 1950s the Studio Building became the neighborhood confectionary. Local kids, (including myself,) purchased soda and snacks from the "Idaho Food Shop" while going to and from school. This fuzzy but desired image was taken at the end of a roll of film before sending the film for processing by my friend Hugh. It was taken from a second floor window of the house across the corner from the store before the store closed at 10pm in the late 60s early 70s. The confectionary was no longer a good business ten years later when I purchased the property in 1979. 7-11 convience stores were popping up all over the area and they stayed open 24 hours a day.
The Idaho Food shop
Built - Just for Fun!

This 125th scale model of the Studio 801 property was built in the third year of Studio building ownership. It was assembled to try out ideas for the reconstruction of the property. If you look closely you can see an earily form of the new window design. In the end drawings proved much

easier to make than this models was. The model had been put into storage over 10 years ago.
Re-Construction (Side)    

One of the things that originally drew me to developing this location as an art studio was the large store windows. The old store area offered a great working space and the large plate glass windowns contributed a wealth of wonderful light. As an artist, I have always found light very helpful in creating

my atrworks. On the other hand, my co-owner (and more practical partner), had many concerns about studio security. In its years of being a store these large plate glass window were an asset. Today however, these same window are a liability. In recent months the Studio's side window has been totally rebuilt. In its re-design careful consideration has been given to the "vintage look". It has been very important to this artist that any building re-construction keep the flavor of the age of this old store building. The lower section once used by a large plate glass window light, has been exchanged for bead board and custom trim. Now twenty-four small window lights are supplying the room with the desired sunlight.
Re-Construction (Front)
The series of images below show the progress of the Studio's front window reconstruction. In the end, everything left of the old store window was removed.
Contact: Gary G. Stevenson


Click on the "Projects" Icon to link to view several Studio 801 projects Click on the "Resume" Icon to link to Gary Stevenson's professional Resume and to many other Studio 801 items   Click on the "Home Page" Icon to return to the "Studio801" home page