St. Louis Then and Now is a captivating chronicle of history and change. It pairs photographs over a century old with specially commissioned views of the same scenes as they exist today to show the evolution of St. Louis from the pioneers’ "Gateway to the West" to a thriving and dynamic city of the 21st century.
Established by French fur-trader Pierre Laclede in 1764 and named in honor of the patron saint of France, St. Louis was in its earliest days a trading outpost near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Laclede showed remarkable foresight, pronouncing that "by its locality and central position," St. Louis was to become "one of the finest of cities."
His vision was accurate: with the advantages of a natural sand levee and sheltering limestone bluffs, the central "city by the river" grew rapidly over the following decades.