The St. Louis Palladium is on top of the 2012 Most Endangered List from Landmarks Association.
THE PALLADIUM - CLUB PLANTATION IS ONE OF THE TEN OLDEST BUILDINGS IN GRAND CENTER
Only ten over 100 years old remain.
ST. LOUIS DANCE LEGEND HORTENSE ALLEN
Born in St. Louis, Missouri and dancing from the age of 14, Hortense Allen got her break at producing and choreographing shows at the Plantation, the largest club in town, with a revue and her own chorus line by the time she was twenty.
She produced and danced in shows at the Rhumboogie in Chicago and the Club Harlem in Atlantic City, choreographing hundreds of shows, dancing every style of dance, sewing costumes for her lines, traveling in road shows, playing all the major houses, teaching thousands of younger women. She fought the color prejudice that effectively barred any but the lightest African American women from dancing in chorus lines. She produced shows that headlined boxing champion (and tap dancer) Sugar Ray Robinson, bandleader Louis Jordan, and singer James Brown. "I just let 'em call me as a chorus girl and choreographer, because it was hard, really hard, for a woman, in my time, to be a woman producer, to come up. Because they wouldn't take you."
From JERRY BERGER Q&A, PD Magazine, Sunday, June 2, 1996.
"Looking through old family photos, I found some taken at the Plantation Club on Delmar Boulevard before World War II. Do you have any information on the club?"
-- John Ferguson, St. Louis
Club Plantation, 3617 Grandel Square, was closed in June 1947 because it was caught in a squeeze between state law, which required early closing hours for such places, and the high fees that entertainers demanded. Anthony Scarpelli, operator of the popular club, which featured big-name entertainers, reportedly attributed the final blow to salary demands by the Mills Brothers.
The musical group asked for $3,500 for a 12-night engagement. At the time, the Mills Brothers was a popular act on radio and in recordings. Other big-name stars that appeared at the club were Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, the Ink Spots and Louis Armstrong.
(©1996 St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
ST. LOUIS CLUB PLANTATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN A TARGET OF THE VETERAN'S ADMINISTRATION
In the 1940s, after taking the historic Vandeventer Place neighborhood down, the V A hospital demanded that the city demolish the Club Plantation and everything else near them in Grand Center.
This article is from 1947. That threat was made over 60 years ago and it was repeated a month ago: http://fox2now.com/2012/07/10/sweetie-pies-offered-buyout-for-va-expansion/
LEGENDS OF THE CLUB PLANTATION