Best Local Website


B.E.L.T. stands for "the built environment in layman's terms" — or, as curator/writer Toby Weiss explains, the site beckons people to "talk about buildings and spaces in a language we all understand. Let's really see what's around us rather than look." Such action is easy, thanks to B.E.L.T.'s information-packed posts about St. Louis' urban infrastructure, quaint neighborhoods and architectural quirks. Preservation is one of Weiss' passions, and her evocative photo essays and detailed write-ups focus on how the modern and the retro clash (and/or coexist) in the region. Her eye for detail is impeccable — a recent post about the lions carved into the Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler building at 705 Olive Street downtown was particularly illuminating — and her enthusiasm for vintage signs, antiquated design trends and other relics of the past is fascinating and refreshing.

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