8Gill to Smith, 12 February 1940, JNEMA. This last-minute research on the Old Courthouse's historical significance seemed minute compared to the research done by Charles Peterson and his staff over the four years before the Federal Government accepted the building. They discovered that the structure was built under the supervision of the St. Louis County Court between 1839 and 1862, with the architects being appointed by the judges. See Peterson to H. Sam Priest, 20 June 1940, JEFF.
11St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 16 February 1940; Smith to Geaslin, 19 February 1940, JNEMA. John Nagle mentioned President Roosevelt's inclusion of the building in the executive order in the preliminary investigative National Park Service reports.
12Ickes to President (of the United States), 4 March 1940, JNEMA; Gill to Nagle, 9 March 1940, JEFF; Stella M. Drumm and Charles van Ravenswaay, The Old Courthouse (St. Louis, Missouri Historical Society, 1940).
14St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1 May 1940. The function of the Advisory Board remained just that advisory, not administrative, because the Interior Department possessed full administrative and supervisory responsibilities over the memorial. The acting secretary of the interior reminded Dr. Hermon Bumpus of this fact in 1938, and it remained true in 1940 when the Federal Government accepted the Old Courthouse over the Board's objections. Acting Secretary of the Interior to Bumpus, 7 September 1938, JNEMA. During 1939 and 1940 the memorial's architectural staff kept busy while waiting for the decision on the Old Courthouse. Historic American Building Survey and Works Progress Administration projects proceeded during these years. One chore undertaken was the translation and transcription of Spanish and French records from court documents. Linguists were hired from WPA rolls to do the work, which still can be seen in JEFF files. John Bryan, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Its Origin, Development and Administration, n.d., p. 17, typed report, JEFF.
18Blanton to Moskey, 12 August 1940, JEFF. Tenants in the Old Courthouse included: the St. Louis Art League, St. Louis Museum of Science and Industry, WPA Toy Project No. 5608, and the Board of Religious Organizations Toy Guild. Besides the tentative plan to house the Missouri Historical Society displays, other St. Louis interests wanted space in the building. In December 1939 the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Science of St. Louis sought room for a Museum of Science. William C.E. Becker to Dickmann, 11 December 1939, JEFF. In July 1940 the St. Louis Art League was interested in space for an art gallery. John B. Denvir, Jr. to Nagle, 23 July 1940, JEFF.
19Smith to Dickmann, 29 August 1940, JNEMA; St. Louis Daily Record, 8 November 1940; memorandum, A.E. Demaray to Acting Superintendent JNEM, 26 November 1940, JEFF. Progress on the exhibits and dioramas for the temporary museum (eventually placed in the Old Courthouse) went slowly, for the work had started in 1938. Even then, confusion existed over the varied responsibilities of the Park Service Museum Division and the Branch of Historic Sites and Buildings. Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr., thought the production of exhibits was slow because the responsibility lay with the museum division. He felt the branch should handle the fundamental historical content while the museum division handled the details of the exhibit preparation. Memorandum, Fahey to Nagle, 1 November 1938, JEFF. By 1940 work was completed on three dioramas, constructed in the museum division's laboratory in Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C. These dioramas were installed in the museum during the year; the museum opened to the public in January 1943. See: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 28 August 1940; Monthly Report(s) of the Museum Branch, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, February 19-September 1940, typed reports, JEFF; John Bryan, JNEM Its Origin, pp. 18-19, JEFF.
28Ibid.; memorandum, Thomas C. Vint to Superintendent JNEM, 25 July 1940, JEFF; memorandum, E.F. Batchelor to Starrett, 6 November 1940, JEFF. Batchelor made several interesting observations concerning museology and the memorial: "The ground work for establishing a Museum within the boundaries of the Memorial area is predicated upon the collector's ability to discover and collect artifacts and reliable information of the nature of the person or thing to be perpetuated. In our case it seems that the difficulties in this respect are more intense because of the lack of quality rather than quantity of the material preserved ... It seems to me that a Museum to be a profound success must be based upon broad principles rather than an accumulation of antiquated remnants of past inhabitants. To confine the scope of a Museum to local artifacts can certainly not do justice to the Historic Sites Act, or the Executive Order .... Emphasis should not be placed upon any one feature of past culture .... The question that confronts me is, can all these events and their contemporary actors be portrayed in such sequence ... so as to present a true picture of National Expansion and what form should the portrayals take? I realize that a history making event may be superimposed upon another important event, so likewise one character upon another, thereby reflecting variable values for the curator to unscramble. However, from a layman's point of view, the whole picture should be presented so that I may read as I run."
47Nagle to Dickmann, 22 July 1940, JEFF. Nagle praised Mayor Dickmann highly, stating that the Service valued Dickmann's grasp of National Park Service objectives, and that his cooperation made the work much lighter. "I therefore hope for your continued efficient and helpful efforts in the furtherance of the solution of this problem."
52Memorandum, Demaray to Julian Spotts, 13 December 1940, JEFF. Max Doyne's report covered important aspects of the railroad problem. He investigated the practicality of diverting passenger trains currently using the Merchants Bridge and the elevated trestle to a route on the river's east side and over the Municipal Bridge. Diverting these trains required constructing two additional freight tracks in East St. Louis, Illinois. Additional interlocking would be needed in East St. Louis to take care of the increased traffic. Frank Wright believed these new tracks and interlocking should be paid for by the "Memorial project," with Max Doyne preparing cost estimates. Wright to Julian Spotts, 13 December 1940, JEFF. Luther Ely Smith had several thoughts about these developments. He knew the elevated tracks would have to be removed, but thought the surface tracks posed a more serious problem. He worried about the proposed tunnel causing future construction problems when buildings were added to the site. He also did not want the tunnel to interfere with the association's underground garage and parking plans. Smith to William Allen White, 20 December 1940, JNEMA.
53John Bryan, JNEM - Its Origins ... p. 18, JEFF; memorandum, Demaray to Regional Director, Region II, 8 November 1940, JEFF; John Ise, Our National Park Policy - A Critical History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press 1961), pp. 355, 443. Drury served in the top post until 1951.
54John Bryan, An Historical and Architectural Sketch of the National Scott's Hotel, October 1937, typed report, JEFF. McCune Gill to Spotts, 19 December 1940, JEFF; Memorandum, Spotts for Director NPS, 27 March 1941, JEFF; Spotts to Smith, 24 June 1941, JNEMA. Spotts sent letters stating a position which advocated restoration of the hotel by an outside group or agency to the various individuals and organizations sponsoring the structure's preservation. Those interested ranged from the mayor and Luther Ely Smith to the Chamber of Commerce and the State Historical Society of Missouri. Memorandum, Spotts for Director NPS, 24 May 1941, JEFF. Nevertheless, the costs of restoration were considered too great and the building was demolished in January-February 1949. Memorandum, J.B. Rasbach to Director NPS, 11 March 1949, JEFF.
56Drury to Ernst C. Krohn, 21 February 1941, JEFF. For a sampling of opposition to the building's razing see St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 15 January, 18 January, 20 January, 21 January, 22 January, and 23 January 1941; St Louis Globe-Democrat, 19 January 1941. National Park Service historian John Bryan recorded his version of how Director Drury made the decision. Ned Burns, chief of the National Park Service Museum Branch, wanted to save the building for museum space, since the tentative plans to move the regional headquarters into the Old Courthouse would occupy much of that building's available space. Bryan, Charles Peterson and Judge James M. Douglas (president of the Missouri Historical Society) all wanted to save the building. However, Director Drury agreed with the highway engineers and Harland Bartholomew (director of the City Plan Commission) that Third Street should be the connecting road link between the city's two main thoroughfares, Gravois and Natural Bridge. (Bartholomew also wanted to move the Old Cathedral, but church officials successfully opposed this suggestion). Thus the move to make Third Street (rather than Broadway) the major downtown highway artery doomed the Old Customs House. See John Bryan, JNEM Its Origin ... pp. 16-17, JEFF.
57Memorandum, Spotts for Director NPS, 19 October 1942, JEFF; John Bryan, JNEM - Its Origin ... pp. 16-17, JEFF. Bryan, possessing high interest in preserving the salvaged material, worried that patriotism would carry off his treasured gleanings. The only precaution he could take consisted of keeping the public out of the Denchar Building.
58Charles Peterson, Map of the Site of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Showing the Location of Various Historic Sites and Buildings, 17 May 1937, typed report, p. 3, JEFF; memorandum, Peterson to Nagle, 4 September 1940, JEFF; memorandum, Nagle to Ned Burns, 27 September 1940 JEFF; John Bryan, JNEM - Its Origin ... p. 18, JEFF. Memorial files contain many photographs and specifications of this restoration project.
75U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 77th Congress, 1st session, 87, pt. 110: 5236-5237. Debate did not end there, for another amendment was entered the next day providing for no funds from the appropriation act being expended for any project sponsored by any department, agency, or independent establishment of the Federal Government unless justification for the sponsor's contribution was specifically included in the individual appropriation. This, of course, aimed at cutting off WPA funds specifically from Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Missouri Representative Clarence Cannon opposed the amendment, stating that it directly sabotaged the WPA's principal objective. All WPA work being done for the Army and the Navy as well as other agencies would have to be abandoned. The amendment failed to pass. U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 77th Congress, 1st session, 87, part III:5249-50.
77Report of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial For the Fiscal Year 1943 n.d. p. 1, typed report, JEFF; Report of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial For the Fiscal Year 1945, 7 August 1945, p. 1, typed report, JEFF.
78Report ... Fiscal Year 1943, p. 4, JEFF; Report of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial For the Fiscal Year 1944, 28 August 1944, pp. 2-3, typed report, JEFF; Report ... Fiscal 1945, p. 2, JEFF.
79Report... Fiscal Year 1943, pp. 2-3, JEFF; Report... Fiscal Year 1944, p. 2, JEFF; Report ... Fiscal Year 1945, pp. 3-4, JEFF; Sunday afternoon talks at the Old Courthouse fell into five subject areas: Know Your National Parks, The Story of National Expansion, Historic Highways, History Through Objects, and Episodes of the Fur Trade. The war effort affected the memorial in many ways, most notably in the postponement of development plans. National Park Service officials and Luther Ely Smith received several suggestions about how to best utilize the site during the war. One association member asked Smith if sections of the razed riverfront area could be used for thrift gardens, with the city providing the fertilizer. Carl Meyer to Smith, 2 February 1943, JNEMA. The Salvation Army wanted the ground floor of the Old Courthouse to be rehabilitated and turned into a U.S.O. headquarters. The Park Service could not rehabilitate any further portions of the building due to priorities, and the request was turned down. Smith to Spotts, 15 July 1943, JNEMA; Spotts to Smith, 16 July 1943, JNEMA.
83M.H. Doyne, Suggestions For Allocating Cost of Removal of Railroad Traffic and Facilities Now in Front of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial at St. Louis, Mo., 30 April 1941, typed report, p. 15, JEFF.
86P.J. Watson, Jr. to Doyne, 19 July 1941, JEFF; Carleton S. Hadley, Memorandum on the "Doyne Plan" as to the St. Louis Riverfront Tracks and the Legal Obstacles to the "Rerouting" Portion thereof, 19 July 1941, typed memorandum, JEFF.
93Statement on Behalf of Executive Committee of Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, representing the St. Louis Railroads, to Mayor Becker at Meeting in City Hall, St. Louis, Missouri, on February 18, 1942, typed sheets, JEFF.
98Becker to Eastman, 21 March 1942, JNEMA: William Dee Becker, Statement of City's Position on Terminal Railroad Association Refusal to Remove Elevated Tracks and Reroute Passenger Trains., n.d., typed statement, JEFF.
101Becker to Eastman, 11 May 1942, JEFF; The City of St. Louis v. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis et al., Complaint before the Interstate Commerce Commission, 25 June 1942, JEFF; The City of East St. Louis v. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, Complaint before the Interstate Commerce Commission, 27 June 1942, JEFF; The City of East St. Louis, Petition of the City of East St. Louis, Illinois For Leave to Intervene Before the Interstate Commerce Commission, July 1942, JEFF; The City of East St. Louis v. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, Complaint before the Illinois Commerce Commission, 10 July 1942, JEFF.
103Ickes to Eastman, 31 July 1942, JEFF: Drury to Doyne, 6 August 1942, JEFF. Contrary to the Park Service's action, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association decided to file a petition for intervention in the case. Petition for Leave to Intervene of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, A Corporation, before the Interstate Commerce Commission, 27 August 1942, JEFF.
104Memorandum, Drury to Under Secretary (Department of Interior), 28 August 1942, JEFF; The City of St. Louis v. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, et al., ICC Docket 28851, 17 September - 1 October 1942, vols. 1-17, Stenographer's Minutes, taped testimony, JEFF; The City of St. Louis v. Terminal Railroad Association of St Louis et al., ICC Docket 28851, 22 September 1942, Stenographer's Minutes, Testimony of J.C. Spotts, typed testimony, JEFF; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4 April 1943.
105Memorandum of the Coordinating Committee, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, 26 November 1943, JNEMA; St. Louis Star-Times, 23 October 1943; "Meeting Minutes of the Coordinating Committee of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association," 8 March 1944, typed minutes, JNEMA; memorandum of Meeting of Coordinating Committee of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, 21 April 1944, JEFF; Coordinating Committee to Watson, 1 May 1944, JNEMA.
106Memorandum of Meeting of Coordinating Committee, 18 May 1944, JNEMA; Memorandum of Meeting of Coordinating Committee, 25 May 1944, JNEMA; Memorandum of Meeting of Coordinating Committee, 14 July 1944, JNEMA.
109E.W. Bayse to William Judson Gray, 2 January 1943, JNEMA. President Roosevelt approved paving Third Street in 1938 as a WPA project, providing for a concrete base with a granite block surface. In the fall of 1942 the manager of the St. Louis WPA revised the paving design, resulting in saving $150,000 of Government funds. The new design required the elimination of steel, a strategic material during the war. Delays in getting clearances and installing sewers prohibited the project's completion before the close of the WPA program. Smith to Robert E. Hannegan, 23 July 1943, JNEMA.
110D'Arcy to Max O'Rell Truitt, 15 January 1943, JNEMA; Drury to Smith, 18 January 1943, JNEMA; Alben Barkley to D'Arcy, 19 January 1943, JNEMA; Smith to D'Arcy, 3 February 1943, JNEMA; Spotts to Becker, 28 July 1944, JNEMA.
116James L. Ford to Smith, 26 July 1944, JNEMA; Smith to City Plan Commission, 27 January 1944, JNEMA; Louis La Beaume to Smith, 17 January 1945, JNEMA; Smith to Spotts, 6 December 1945, JNEMA; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 8 April 1945. As an example of other suggested uses for the memorial area the Engineers' Club of St. Louis passed a resolution favoring construction of a municipal stadium and recreation center as tribute to World War II heroes; Resolution of the Engineers' Club of St. Louis, 5 April 1945, JNEMA.
117Charles W. Porter III, The Purpose and Theme of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Project, St. Louis, Missouri, Together with Comments on the Proper Scope of the National Park Service's National Historic Site Project at that Place, 27 November 1944, pp. 1-2, typed report, JEFF.
119Memorandum, Drury for Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 25 January 1945, JEFF; Julian Spotts, Concepts of the Memorial Together with Comments on Dr. Porter's Report of November 27, 1944, n.d., p. 6, typed report, JEFF.
Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004