No. 77: Industrial Series – The Benjamin Moore Factory on 2nd & Lafayette

I’m brewing up two new posts–one on scenery and one on the new coupler pockets recently released by Smokey Valley and Resin Car Works.

Meanwhile I’m excited to write about a factory building that’s still standing in St. Louis–the Benjamin Moore paint factory and warehouse on 2nd and Lafayette.  I ran across this building a few years ago and last year when I was back for St. Louis RPM I was able to photograph it all around in good light.

Here is a trackside view of the factory building, looking south down 2nd Street.


The factory has been around since the 1930s and was built adjacent to the original Monsanto chemical plant.  The original Monsanto plant sprawled across many city blocks and was a fascinating facility, and was served my multiple tracks from the nearby Missouri Pacific yard.  Benjamin Moore was served by a single siding off the Manufacturer’s Railway, which ran down the middle of second street as seen above.

IMG_7860Above.  Another view down 2nd Street, showing the  turnout off the Manufacturer’s Railway.  Below is a Google Earth view of the plant, showing how it consumes much of the city block.  The Monsanto plant was behind this building and to the right.


FullSizeRender (3)

Above.  Another Google Earth view, showing the factory at top center.  The vacant lots full of trucks and school busses at center and lower center mark the location of the former Monsanto plant.  It was huge.  And below, here is a view from 1955:

Benjamin Moore Aerial 2

According to a Sanborn map from the 1930s, the area to the right in the photo above–where you can see the large tanks and several tank cars–is part of the Monsanto lab and not part of Benjamin Moore.  The area at the far right is the large Missouri Pacific yard south of the city along the riverfront.

Below, here are close-up photos of all four freight doors.  I love the different vents, doors, windows, and fixtures along the freight dock side of the building.





The windows and doors below look quite clean and modern.  The building is occupied now by a wholesale office furniture company called RC Distributing.




The last photo above should give a little perspective.  See the Gateway Arch?  Below is a photo of the side of the building along Lafayette Avenue.


And finally, some interesting photos of the turnout off the Manufacturer’s Railway (below):



Above.  The turnout was thrown by lifting the door.  Below, note the three drain covers–two of which are centered between the track.


This is another good industry for modeling, and also for consigning cars to.  Box cars and perhaps tank cars could be routed to and from this plant.  The Sanborn map (not shown) also indicates the building had a steam power plant.  Perhaps the plant received coal by hopper or gondola as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s