Thursday, February 11, 2010

the architect and the non-soaring entry foyer

our entry foyer. not a huge space, as in the open echoing spaces that are pretty much in every new home today. this is, after all, a log cabin kinda place. since we moved here a year ago....i have kept thinking i wanna open up this area.....make it vault way up to the roof line. but the more i have lived here, the more i have enjoyed the coziness of the log cabin. i appreciate the coziness here more than any other of our previous homes. i am not sure a soaring space is appropriate any more to our cabin. our home is not so much grand as it is warm and inviting. this home wraps itself around you. a smaller foyer just fits. it welcomes you in from the wide open country fields and woods that surround us here. a cavernous open area would not. it may not be much, but it fits us at this time in our lives.

there are a couple special things i have in the foyer right now. one is this cut glass crystal vase given to me by a dear friend many years ago, it was her grandmother's. at this time it is filled with the pussy willows brought in from outside to force 2 weeks ago. they are starting to really open now. spring.......aaaaah!

and then there is this architectural sign. it was another find, found about 10 years ago from a antique shop just east of columbia, mo. i didn't know anything about the sign when i bought it. i just liked it and knew hubby would too. when i brought it home, the human backhoe, hubby, recognized the street name on the sign as being probably from st. louis, as he had lived there for most of his life. we both did some internet research and found out that h.g. hargitt was an architect from st. louis(ding,ding,ding....hubs was right) and that he worked with glass structures during the 1904 world's fair. hargitt invented a version of the first safety glass. here's a pic of the the 23 acre palace of agriculture building from the fair. in this palace alone, there are 147,250 panes of glass, all 18 x 25 inches.

and see that phone number on the sign .....

the 4 digit phone number (forest 3439) on the sign seems to date the piece to prior to the 1905, as this is the way phone numbers were written in that era.

here's a bit of history on 4 digit phone numbers that makes me believe that this sign dates back about 100 years:

4 digit phone numbers like “1244 Main” lasted until dial phones happened in the 1920's. those with the exchange first, such as this sign's, were used before 1905 or so. to make a call you would pick up and talk to an operator who would connect you to the exchange.

it was so amazing to research and learn the history surrounding this piece. i am assuming this sign was displayed somewhere in st. louis around about the early 1900's. quite a find by a history buff like me. and to think i bought the piece just because i liked it, but now i love knowing a bit about the history of the sign. and i love my cozy, warm, inviting, non-soaring entry foyer that has a bit of history in it.


  1. I'm so glad we ran into each other out here in cyberspace. :D
    I don't much care for clutter so if I have something around our house there's usually a story to it. I love the story of the sign. What a great find!
    Did I ever tell you I was born in Mo.? St. Louis to be exact. Funny, huh? My Dad's family is all still there in the Rolla area. I've only visited a couple of times as an adult but we love it there. There's a winery that we especially enjoyed visiting. I can't think of the name of it this second. Too early, not enough coffee yet. LOL Hermann? Maybe? Something like that.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hi dj! How are you? We just came back from vacation and I headed here. We were in Floreeda too! I love the lamp and the sign is very cool! I was born in St. Lou too and it was the place to run around when I was in high school. That Steak & Shake in Crestwood! Vernon Ave sounds familiar. Fun post dj!

  3. I love your sign. Nice to meet another midwest blogger. I've been looking around your blog and I like it a lot. I'm following you now and look forward to more of your posts.



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