Monday, June 21, 2010

Long Before St. Louis Centre, There was the Nugent's Bridge

A few weeks ago before the Central Library closed for its 2 year renovation I was there thumbing through a box of articles looking for items on St. Louis Centre when I ran across this.  Several decades before St. Louis Centre would darken Washington Avenue and Locust Street, another multi-story bridge was constructed over St. Charles Street to connect Nugent's department store with its annex to the south.  Nugents was located at the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Broadway.

Occupying five floors on half a block plus an annex of at least equal size south of St. Charles Street, Nugent's was one of several medium size department stores in Downtown that were contenders amongst the big three (Stix Baer & Fuller, Scruggs Vandervoort Barney, and Famous Barr).  Economic forces of the depression however caused Nugent's to close its doors in 1933.

While Nugent's and it's four story bridge are long gone, and several of Downtown's many bridges that connected warehouses have been demolished over the years, a few survive, including one near St. Charles and 11th Street and one connecting to City Museum.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

I guess what remains is the 500 north broadway building?

Amy in StL said...

My mom always talks about going with her mom to The Grand Leader; which according to some research is what some folks called Stix. But it was also a midwestern Department Store chain. I'm wondering if there was ever a Grand Leader store here, or if it was always the downtown Stix.

Vanishing STL said...

Yes Patrick, the 500 N Broadway building is the site of the former Nugent's main building. The annex connected by the large bridge was located where the expansion of the Federal Reserve is located.

Amy, The Grand Leader was the official name of Stix Baer & Fuller in its early years. The best history I have seen of the store is in the building's National Register nomination. Here is a link:
http://www.dnr.mo.gov/shpo/nps-nr/03000650.pdf

Unknown said...

My Father worked at Nugents in 1925, sweeping the basement at age 12.