Name: Ramsey, Charles K.
Description: Charles K. Ramsey was a St. Louis architect who collaborated with the Chicago firm of Adler and Sullivan to design the Wainwright Building in downtown St. Louis. His other commissions include several churches, houses on Vandeventer Place for John D. Perry, David R. Francis and Edward Mallinckrodt, as well as factories for Mallinckrodt and Daniel Catlin.
The son of a successful St. Louis builder, Ramsey studied engineering at Washington University before gaining practical experience as a carpenter. In 1888, he was elected president of the Missouri State Association of Architects. That same year, construction began for "one of the first fireproof structures in the city"—a seven-story Romanesque Revival office building at the corner of Chestnut and Broadway. Ramsey´s Houser Building featured walls of brick and stone with interior framing of steel and hollow tile. Finishes included woodwork of Wisconsin red oak, marble-paved halls, heavy bronze hardware and up-to-date hydraulic elevators with elaborate iron cages. (Built for Daniel M. Houser, the senior proprietor of the Globe Democrat, the building was used as the Annex of the Woodbine Hotel from 1918 to 1943. It was demolished for a parking garage in 1962.)
The St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects was organized in 1890 with Ramsey serving as treasurer. His association with Adler & Sullivan began that year and, in addition to the Wainwright Building, included the Union Trust (1892) and the now demolished Hotel St. Nicholas (1893). His most important known early 20th century commission, the Northumberland Apartment building at Cabanne and Belt, featured a "crematory" for garbage that heated bath water.
Structures & Places
site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and