“The Carnegie Hall Of St. Louis”
By Mary Miller Cullins
The Sheldon Concert Hall was designed by noted 1904 World’s Fair architect Louis C. Spiering and built in 1912 as the home of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. Over the years, musicians and public speakers have enjoyed the perfect acoustics of the Sheldon Concert Hall, hence its reputation as “The Carnegie Hall of St. Louis”. Did you know speakers such as Albert Einstein, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ernest Hemingway have spoken from it stage? And the St. Louis Chapter of the League of Women Voters was founded in the Sheldon’s Green Room.
In 1964, the Missouri Ethical Society relocated to St. Louis County and The Sheldon became primarily a music venue. In 1974, a former singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra purchased the building and transformed it into a Church and the venue for jazz and gospel concerts.
In the 80′s, it was purchased by a California attorney who had a love for chamber music. He hired Walter F. Gunn to restore the building and upon completion, Gunn began operating The Sheldon in 1986 as a venue for concerts and community events. Gunn was determined to preserve and establish this beautiful venue as one of St. Louis’ greatest cultural resources. And that, ladies and gentlemen he did!!
Today, The Sheldon Concert Hall is the site for over 300 events a year, including jazz, folk, and classical music concerts. Artists such as Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, and B.B. King have been featured here. The Sheldon, located in the Grand Center arts district of St. Louis is by far one of the best preserved music halls in the country. If you are looking for a true “concert hall” experience, check out The Sheldon in St. Louis, you will not be disappointed.
Jam Session at the Sheldon
Liston Brothers and Friends
Hangin’ Backstage with the Boys in the Band!
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