The Architects Series #1 Saarinen MicroLetterbox LbNA # 13130
|Placed Date||Jan 12 2005|
|Last Found||Apr 10 2010|
STATUS: Removed for repair
REPLACEMENT DATE : 06/13/05
DISTANCE to LETTERBOX: 100 yards
DIRECTIONS: Firestone Baars Chapel at 1306 E. Walnut Street on Stephens College Campus in Columbia, Missouri.
Getting here from the North and South
Take Highway 63 to the Broadway exit. Travel west on Broadway approximately two miles to the Stephens campus. The Chapel is located at the southeast corner of E. Walnut and N. College Avenue. The Visitor Center is located at the northwest corner of Broadway and College Avenue. Visitor parking is available on the north side of the Visitors Center.
Getting here from the East and West
Take Interstate 70 to Highway 63, the Jefferson City exit. Travel south on Highway 63 to the Broadway exit. Travel west on Broadway approximately two miles to the Stephens campus. The Chapel is located at the southeast corner of E. Walnut and N. College Avenue. The Visitor Center is located at the northwest corner of Broadway and College Avenue. Visitor parking is available on the north side of the Visitors Center.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Firestone Baars Chapel
Designed by the St. Louis Gateway Arch architect Eero Saarinen, the Firestone Baars Chapel is acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful buildings of its kind in the United States. Four entrances, one on each side of the chapel, allow access from any direction, signifying a person's approach to religion from all directions. The focal point of the Stephens campus, the chapel is a site for nondenominational services and Baccalaureate. Several Stephens alumnae have been married in the chapel, which is adjacent to the landscaped Journey Plaza area. Call 573-876-7207 for tour information.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Stephens College, founded in 1833, is a national liberal arts college and the second-oldest women's college in the country. A private college, Stephens is the only four-year women's institution for higher education within the state of Missouri. Approximately 65 percent of Stephens students come from out of state. Stephens draws women from nearly every state and several countries outside the U.S.
CLUES: Find your way to the center of the landscaped Journey Plaza on the south side of the Firestone Baars Chapel. You should find yourself amongst a series of stained concrete paving sections etched within the hardscape. “X” marks your starting point, in others words find the stained section that breaks the pattern of axis but retains the essence of symmetry with the Chapel. From the “X” walk 13 paces south, away from the Chapel where you will encounter large planting of ornamental grasses. Look over the grass and you will see an isolated concrete pad directly to the south with four facing benches. Walk through the benches, still continuing south until you reach the far edge of the concrete. Turn west and follow the concrete edging about five paces. You should be at a point in the edging where it comes to mitered corner. Turn north so that you are facing the Chapel again. On the ground in front of you are several large stones. From the benches count four stones over, you should be in front of it. The microbox is on the west side underneath the fourth stone (where it sits on top of another, the fifth stone) it is well buried in the gap between the two so you may get your hands dirty.
UPDATE: The box is not there any more. The gardeners Stephens College tend the plaza very well and the original location was not long unnoticed.
But like the beauty of the Firestone Baars Chapel, the letterbox in its name endures. With cooperation of Illia, the original placer, C2B2 rebuilt and re-hid the Saarinen MicroLetterbox.
From where you now stand at the previous box location, you can see the spire of the chapel rising before you and hear the traffic of Broadway at your back.. Take another look at the chapel to get your bearings, then take a stroll of less than 100 feet to your left.
What you will find there is a walkway that bridges noisy Broadway so that Stephens College students can get to class without enduring major injuries. Walk over the bridge, pausing midway to look back at the chapel and to look down at the traffic.
Exit on the left (east) side of the bridge. A concrete sidewalk meets the bridge steps and skirts the builiding as it runs to the corner. There it forms a small sitting area of rocks, concrete and benches.
Sit on the bench that is farthest south. Look across the road to the chapel. Scoot along the bench until the “S” in the Stephens College sign lines up with the spire. You are now at the right spot.
With your left hand, reach back behind you to the heavy rock shaped like a parallelogram. Carefully and discretely lift the stone to find the replacement letterbox in a niche we hope the gardeners will not notice. Replace the MicroLetterbox with stealth. If anyone sees you, the site is lost.
Note that you use the tiny stamp twice to get a design that will remind you of the chapel. Bring your own ink.
Please log your find at http://letterboxing.org and contact the placer if the box is missing again or need repair.