A Fitting Home


  • About this Collection

    Enter the Steedman Room through its carved wooden entrance and be transported back to a 16th century British gentleman's library.

    Wooden bookcases with beautiful glass doors and carved details adorn three walls. The stone fireplace, window seat, and leaded-glass windows with medallions of the five classical orders make up the fourth wall. The decorative plaster ceiling designed by sculptor Victor Berlendis and oak-paneled walls add to the architectural details. Furnishings selected by Louis La Beaume, influential architect and personal friend of Mr. Steedman, complete the room's ambience.

    Behind the bookcase doors visitors find first or early editions of some of the most influential architectural books published. Especially noteworthy is the 23-volume set of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Opere (Works) and early 20th century publications of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright

    George Fox Steedman and his wife Carrie Howard donated the funds for special room to be designed and built to house their gift of 1,500 volumes on architecture and allied arts. Oscar Mullgardt of the leading St. Louis architectural firm Mauran, Russell and Crowell designed the room that opened in 1930.

    Mr. Steedman envisioned the room as a place for visitors to "search these shelves for records of honest work and good design and so find here inspiration for great achievement." Architect Mullgardt's design succeeded. The Steedman Room is a unique room that captures the essence of George Fox Steedman's gift and inspires each visitor.

  • Magnificent carved wood entrance to the Steedman Library

  • Books from the 16th through the 21th centuries share the same bookshelves in the Steedman Library

  • Decorative leaded glass doors adorn the Steedman Room

  • Steedman books glimpsed through decorative carved wood and leaded glass doors

  • The Steedman Architectural Library at St. Louis Public Library

Return to Exhibit