Category Archive 'St. Louis'

01 Jul 2020

Those McCloskeys Have One Helluva House

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When you learn more about it, and how much work they did restoring it, you wonder why Mark had not gotten himself an M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun, just in case…

St. Louis Magazine, 2018 feature:

When attorneys Mark and Patty McCloskey bought their home in February of 1988, it was the color of cigarette ashes. Still dirty from the days when St. Louis lay under a blanket of coal smoke, the home’s Carthage marble facing “had quarter-inch-thick carbon on it in some places,” Mark says. The two Carrara marble urns out front, copies of a pair at the Vatican, had turned black, obscuring Neptune and his attending dolphins. The imported Caen limestone in the entry hall had been painted battleship gray, and the intricate wood carvings in the dining room (which, as Mark points out, are so detailed, you can see the birds’ individual claws), were smothered in layers of white and robin’s-egg blue. What had once been St. Louis’ most dazzling mansion now felt more like a haunted house. It didn’t help that the first time Mark and Patty turned the key in the door, the temperature had fallen to 4 below zero and the house didn’t have a functioning furnace. The prior owner had heated the house with 48 kerosene space heaters that had since been removed.

The McCloskeys joke that they were too young and naïve to know what they’d signed up for. But 30 years later, the house is as magnificent as it was when Edward and Anna Busch Faust held court here, meeting guests at the top of the grand staircase for afternoon tea or smoking cigars around the billiard table in the sub-basement.

Adolphus and Lilly Busch, the story goes, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by giving their children money to build houses. “August Sr. built Grant’s Farm,” Patty says. “Hugo Reisinger, who was married to one of the sisters [Edmee Busch Reisinger], built a big house on Fifth Avenue. Wilhelmina built a castle in Bavaria…”

And Anna and Edward—son of Tony Faust, Adolphus’ best friend—set out to build a Renaissance palazzo. “The goal was to build one of the most lavish and grand houses in the Midwest,” says Patty. …

The dining room is a re-creation of a residence chamber in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, constructed in 1458 by Luca Pitti, though its more famous residents included the Medicis and Napoleon Bonaparte. It took six people an entire year to carefully remove multiple layers of paint glommed over the intricate woodwork. The ceiling murals, however, were in great shape: “The guy who owns St. Louis Architectural Bronze said that when he was an art student at Wash. U., he lived here for two years, restoring the ceiling,” Mark says. “This is all on canvas, and it had all fallen in. He put it back up and repainted the parts that needed to be repainted, and you can’t tell.” Across the way in the solarium are gorgeous reproductions of 16th-century stained-glass windows decorated with cartouches, putti, and stylized vegetation, copies of the famous ones in Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library in Florence. And beyond those glowing panes is one of the most remarkable parts of the house: the ballroom.

It’s 70 feet long and 45 feet wide, a reproduction of the second-floor reception hall at the 14th-century Palazzo Davanzati in Florence. “The glass in the windows is actually from there,” Patty says, “and the shutters, at least the ironwork, are probably original.” That’s because in 1916, the year the ballroom was built, most of the palace’s contents were sold off; the McCloskeys found two of the original chairs at auction, and they now sit in the entryway. (The matching table is on view at the Frick Collection in New York.)

One significant divergence from the original, Patty says, is the floor, which was Portuguese tile. This one was once described as “the most beautiful dance floor in America,” a flawless plain of glossy teak joined by small, carved pieces of ebony, made without a single nail. It also boasts a hidden trapdoor (“For theatrical entrances!” quips Mark). The other whimsical detail: The ceiling beams are equipped with confetti boxes. “You pull the rope, and they dump confetti,” Mark says. “Mrs. Faust said that at Christmas parties, they’d put fans on the top of the mantelpiece and dump confetti so you’d have snowstorms.”

RTWT

01 Jul 2020

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

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29 Jun 2020

Armed Attorneys Defend Home Against 300 BLM Protesters

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In St. Louis, protesters knocked down a gate and invaded a private road in search of Mayor Lyda Kewson’s home. They wanted her resignation after she the released names and addresses of residents who suggested defunding the police department. The Mayor’s home was invaded and occupied, and presumably looted.

Meanwhile, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, two married local attorneys, succeeded in saving their own stately home nearby in the same historic district by standing outside with guns and standing off the mob. Liberals were outraged.

Biz Pac Review:

The radical left is evolving into the monster that can no longer be controlled, with the Democratic Party playing the role of Dr. Frankenstein.

At the same time, American citizens are gearing up for the challenge, as seen Sunday in St. Louis when an armed couple stood guard outside their historic home located on a private road, as Black Lives Matter protesters marched outside.

The dramatic scene was either inspirational or terrifying, depending on your views of private property and the God-given inherent right to defend yourself.

Organizers can be seen in the video moving the mob along, as the husband and wife hold a pistol and automatic rifle outside the upscale property.

With rioters burning and looting all across America these past weeks, destroying all that stands in its path, the couple cannot be blamed for wanting to protect the palace.

The words of an organizer of the protest, Ohun Ashe, as reported by KSDK, adds to that concern: “It’s meant to be disruptive. It’s meant to be disturbing.”

The home is reportedly on the National Historic Register, as Ian Miles Cheong, the managing editor of Human Events, tweeted.

Hundreds of protesters were marching to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson, calling for the Democratic politician’s resignation for releasing the names and addresses of residents wanting to defund the police department, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. …

The couple seen above are neighbors of the mayor, and their home is on a private road, the newspaper reported.

As BLM protesters march down a public street, a faction can be seen breaking off to enter through a side gate to gain access to the property.

A sign posted outside the gate clearly reads: “Access Limited to Residents.”

The CBS affiliate KMOV noted in a photo description that protesters “broke down a gate in the neighborhood to march past their home.” …

At one point, the wife walked out onto the lawn and is seen pointing her handgun at protesters.

[T]he rage mob is offended that the property owners are willing to protect the mansion to the death, if necessary.

[T]he law in Missouri appears to be on their side.

RTWT

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More at Todd Starnes

The British Daily Mail is anti-rich and anti-self defense.

02 Jun 2017

St. Louis P.D. To Sell 27 Tommy Guns

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The St. Louis Police Department is selling a stash of guns that bring to mind Prohibition-era gangsters for cash to put new a handgun in every officer’s holster, plus arm the department with a number of AR-15 rifles.

The rifles and about 1,525 new 9 mm Beretta handguns will be paid for largely by the sale of 27 Thompson submachine guns, some dating to the 1920s. The proceeds from the vintage weapons will cover about half of the new arsenal — the first shipment of which is expected to arrive in August. The sale of the Berettas currently used by officers and other surplus weapons will make up the rest.

St. Louis decommissioned its Thompson submachine guns about 60 years ago. They have been stored in a basement bunker inside the police academy ever since. The guns, more commonly known as Tommy guns, were often the weapon of choice among gangsters during the Roaring ’20s and the 1930s, but they were also carried by lawmen of the time. In later years, FBI agents carried them.

Chesterfield-based Police Trades is the broker for the $1.2 million deal, which was signed in January by then-Chief Sam Dotson. Raymond Reynolds, the president of Police Trades and a retired St. Louis police lieutenant, is somewhat of a history buff with an affection for the iconic guns. He said he found original paperwork showing that the department had paid about $125 a piece for the submachine guns.

RTWT


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