in the larger and more genial labors of peace, will greet the merchants
of other states and lands with a friendly welcome, afford them the op-
portunites of fortune, and honor their services in the achievement of
On the portion of the site whereon stood the finest theatre in St. Louis
is located the Custom House. It is but recently completed, having been
several years in erection. It has been under the direction of the most
distinguished architects in the West—first under the charge of Messrs.
Barnett & Peck, and then Thomas Walsh.
The building has all that stamina and massiveness peculiar to Egyp-
tian architecture, but, with all its strength manifest in its immense
blocks of stone, it still preserves a graceful and beautiful appearance,
the heaviness being relieved by tasteful columns and pillars, which,
without diminishing its strength, lend to it the attraction of Gothic archi-
tecture. It is a model of strength and beauty. The foundation is of
piles—huge pieces of wood sharpened and driven by the power of
machinery twenty-two feet in the earth. There is a vault running the
whole length of the building, and the immense structure is supported
upon arches. It is a model of architectural beauty and strength, and
probably is the cheapest building ever erected, for which the general
government had to pay the whole cost, being but $356,000.
The amount of duties, payable in gold, collected at this port in 1865,
was $586,407 ; and in 1866, $780,700. This sum is about one-fifth of
the customs levied on goods imported into St. Louis. This is only a
port of delivery. The imposts upon our foreign merchandise are chiefly
paid at the port of entry.
From the records of the United States Assessor, it appears that in
1865, the sales of six hundred and twelve St. Louis firms amounted to
$140,688,856. For the same year the imports of the city reached an
aggregate of $235,873,875.
The effect of improvements upon the business of the city, may be
illustrated by the following table, showing the operations of our city ele-
vator from October 24, 1865, to January 1, 1867. The elevator cost
$451,000, and has a capacity of one million two hundred and fifty thou-
sand bushels. It is able to handle one hundred thousand bushels a day.
It began to receive grain in October, 1865, and before the 1st of January
its receipts amounted to six hundred thousand bushels, two hundred