Lorimier School / Cape City Hall

When the state legislature passed legislation in 1867 allowing tax-supported public schools, Lorimier School became the first public school in Cape Girardeau, not a popular concept at the time.

Jeanie Eddleman observes in her book, Yesteryears, that Mark Twain was quite taken with the architecture of Cape. In Life on the Mississippi, he characterized Cape Girardeau as the Athens of Missouri because of its ornate nature. Lorimier was an three-story Renaissance building 163 feet by 72 feet, with a one-story chapel wing.

The 1873 structure was abandoned in 1928. In 1936, an $85,000 bond issue was passed to build a new school on the existing site. A $57,000 grant from the Public Works Administration was added to the bonds. (Another one of those Federal stimulus packages designed to pump up the economy.)

Cursive writing on cornerstone

I’ve never seen a cornerstone with cursive writing on it before.

Lorimier School closed in 1975

Lorimier School closed in 1975, due to declining enrollment. The city of Cape Girardeau converted the facility to a City Hall, preserving this piece of local history.

What is this house?

I should know the name of this house to the east of City Hall, but I’m drawing a blank. Can anyone identify it?

Ornate entrance

No public building of this era would be complete without some kind of ornate do-hickey to set off the main entrance. The modern, utilitarian City Hall sign injects a jarring sterility to the scene. (That’s the kind of stuff I learned to say in Art 101 in school. It’s a fancy way of saying, “That sign is butt-ugly.”)

My film scanner gave up the ghost

I had a whole bunch of negatives to scan, but my film scanner bought the farm this morning. I knew silver film had been wounded, if not killed off, by digital photography, but it never dawned on me how hard it was going to be to find a digital scanner.

All of the high-end professional models were backordered for at least two months or discontinued. In some cases, used equipment was selling for higher prices than new, because the new wasn’t available. I finally ended up ordering a “like new” Nikon Super CoolScan 8000 ED off eBay late in the evening. I hope my First Born likes his new master, cause that’s about what it cost.

If nothing else, I’ll have a reason to haunt the mailbox for the next few days.