Learn about our history: 1909 - 1930

Submitted by Sherry Taylor on Wed, 05/01/2024 - 09:16
Law Library in the Pierce Building


Where did the Law Library Association of St. Louis live before the current Civil Courts Building was completed in 1930?

From 1909-1930, the Law Library was housed in the Pierce Building at the northeast corner of Chestnut and 4th Street.  The move was precipitated by the Law Library outgrowing its space in the Old Courthouse. 

The Pierce Building was catty corner from the Old Courthouse, so there was much discussion about how to get the books across the street from the Pierce Building to the judges in the Old Courthouse.  Letters between the library and the lessor originally talk of the use of pneumatic tubes to get books back and forth to the courthouse. Then, at some point, the mode of transportation became a conveyor belt that would run in a tunnel under the street from the Law Library in the Pierce Building to a designated delivery spot in the Old Courthouse. The conveyor system was used to move the library from the Old Courthouse to the Pierce Building.  Unfortunately, mechanical problems began occurring with the conveyor system and the library began using a messenger system instead.  

Shortly after the Civil Courts Building was completed, the Law Library moved into its current location on the 13th Floor of the Civil Courts Building.