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Funeral services this month for two noted STL architects

Funeral services this month for two noted STL architects

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Funeral services for two architects who championed "mid-century modern" design in the St. Louis area — Ralph Fournier and Richard Henmi — will be held this month.

Both were prominently featured in "Mid-Century Modern in St. Louis," a locally produced documentary recently shown on KETC (Channel 9). 

Mr. Fournier, of Brentwood, died Monday at a nursing facility in Richmond Heights. He was 98.

Ralph Fournier

Architect Ralph Fournier in August 2017. Photo by Joe Holleman

His housing designs have been lauded for adding stylistic touches that set his work apart from the nondescript boxy homes that sprouted up in suburbia in the 1940s.

Ralph Fournier House

A home designed by Ralph Fournier off Grant Road in Crestwood, a style now called "suburban modernism." Photo by Joe Holleman of the Post-Dispatch

A funeral Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 2618 South Brentwood Boulevard. The family noted that the church follows government restrictions regarding gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Henmi, best known for designing the "Flying Saucer" building in Council Plaza on South Grand Avenue, died July 7 at a nursing home in Webster Groves. He was 96.

St. Louis architect Richard "Dick" Henmi

Renowned St. Louis architect Richard "Dick" Henmi. (Photo by Kelly Moffitt)

Mr. Henmi, who as a teenager was held in a World War II Japanese-American internment camp, helped usher in the "megastructure" style of living with his design of the Mansion House Center in downtown St. Louis.

del taco building

March 7, 1969 --- SERVICE WITH STYLE --- Against the sky the saucer shaped roof of this structure has an arresting effect on motorists. Those who take the time discover a gas station at Grand Boulevard and Forest Part Avenue. The $140,000 building, which is part of Council Plaza development, was designed by architect Richard T. Henmi of Schwarz & Van Hoefen (now Schwarz & Henmi). The roof is an inverted cone, 120 feet in diameter. The cone is a reinforced concrete thin shell. The station, like every building in the Mill Creek Valley redevelopment area, had to be approved by the St. Louis Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. Photo by Floyd Bowser/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Both Council Plaza and the Mansion House are on the National Register of Historic Places. Mr. Henmi also was a key player in the creation of the Japanese Garden at Missouri Botanical Garden.

An online memorial service for Mr. Henmi will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 27 at The family asks that attendees sign in through information contained on the memorial's website.

Joe Holleman • 314-340-8254

@stlsherpa on Twitter

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