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New Exhibit at Wyeth-Tootle Mansion Celebrates Historic Architecture

The work of architect Edmond J. Eckel is all over the place in St. Joseph
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The newest exhibit for the museum inside the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion in St. Joseph celebrates an architect - perhaps the most prolific architect this city has known.

"It is a piece of everybody in this area's history.  He designed 75% of the buildings in St. Joseph.  He left his mark no question," said Kathy Reno, the public information director for the St. Joseph Museums.

Reno is talking about Edmond J. Eckel, a Frenchman who came to the Midwest on a train trip across the States.

"His train travel was interrupted due to a bridge being out.  He had four days in St. Joseph to look around, and he decided to make his mark as an architect here," Reno said.

The Wyeth-Tootle Mansion is just one example of Eckel's work as an architect.

He had a great attention to detail in his work.

And you can see his work all over the place in St. Joseph.

Name an older looking building - a church, perhaps, or even an old school. 

Or the Barbosa's Castle.  They're all Eckel desisgns.

And in a style reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance, Eckel's architecture is behind St. Joseph's City Hall.

His finger prints are quite literally all over the town.

Another new exhibit is called Enterprise St. Joseph; it's across the hallway from the Eckel exhibit.

It puts on display many famous companies that have a history here in St. Joe.

This includes Hillyard Chemicals, Country Club Beer, Quaker Oats, and the Aunt Jemima brand.

"St. Joseph is known for the Pony Express and Jesse James.  And if that's what gets people here or gets them interested, that's fantastic," said curator Sarah Elder.  "But if they come see these exhibits they'll realize just how much more there is in St. Joseph and how much more of an impact St. Joseph had - not just on the Midwest but on the nation and the world."

The Edmond J. Eckel exhibit is available at the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion museum through the month of September.

It was funded by a grant from the David H. Memorial Fund, and the collection comes from the River Bluff Architects.
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