Post details: Noah's Ark

08/15/06

Permalink 07:47:54 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 762 words   English (US)

Noah's Ark

I was quite lucky to have some time off from work a few weeks ago, so Silverstreak and I decided to make the trek to Mt. Ararat in Eastern Turkey to see if we could find any remains of the biblical Noah's Ark which is commonly thought to have landed there after the Great Flood. Unfortunately, the Turkish government wouldn't cooperate with our expedition, so we were forced to return home without even attempting to find the Ark.

In a strange twist of fate, it turns out that Noah's Ark did not land on Mt. Ararat as the Bible hints, but actually landed just off of the Missouri River in St. Charles, where it apparently had the perfect atmosphere for a resteraunt and until a few years ago was famous for having the best food in the St. Louis metro area (other than Eat Rite).

It wasn't terribly difficult to find, what with the plaster animals right next to the highway, and because it is attached to the Noah's Ark Best Western Hotel. Considering how much the thought of eating a meal in a boat that at one time must have certainly been full of animal poo makes my mouth water, it is strange that the resteraunt closed down a number of years ago. The Ark itself remains empty as does most of the hotel, aside from the first floor which is serving as office space for the Show-Me Aquatics company.

Silverstreak and I made our way into the interior of the Ark, which in many places is completely in ruins. There were a few glasses still hanging from the fixtures in the bar area, but most everything else is either broken or missing. This site is unique for me because it is one that I actually visited as a child when it was open. Most of the places I explore I was never able to see during their heyday. I remember eating there while looking at a large display case at one end where scene from the Bible tale of the Ark had been recreated in a sort of museum of history way. The case/scene is still there, although the animals and scenery are now gone.

The upstairs was much more interesting, with another lounge style bar, dance floor, and piano still remaining. From this floor we were able to reach the bow of the boat, where we had an excellent view of the St. Charles skyline (quite impressive, let me tell you). Silverstreak seemed to recall that after the Ark had closed as a restaraunt, it remained open for awhile as a bar called Tony's. We actually found the flourescent sign from that time upstairs, and after examining it realized that it must actually been called "Captain Tony's." The bathrooms also had some of the coolest wallpaper I have ever seen. It was so cool, in fact, that I really hope that when I get married some day, my wife will allow me to have similar wallpaper in our bathrooms. Nothing helps me to urinate better than thinking that I am being watched by multiple lions.

As we were leaving, we decided to check out the hotel. I knew that it was in use by an aquatics company, but we felt like walking around anyway. In the back parking lot, we found an old van painted as a zebra to represent the restaraunt/hotel. Man, would I love to find the owner of that van and make him an offer! It looked as though no one was driving it, since the plates expired in 2005.

The plan, as I understand it, is to tear down the hotel and restaraunt to make room for come condos, a movie theatre, an outside skating rink, and a water therapy center for the aquatics company. Who knows if and when that will happen. I do know that there is going to be a battle of the bands on the property soon, so you should all come out for that. It also appears that the St. Charles fire fighters are putting on their "Haunted Hotel" there again this halloween, but I would skip that because I heard it was pretty weak.

It will be sad to see the Ark go. It's been a landmark in St. Charles for years, and one that I remember from my childhood. Unfortunately, because of the shape of the Ark, restoring it might be too costly. You can see some pictures of the site when it was operating at this site: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tips/getAttraction.php3?tip_AttractionNo==769

Comments:

Comment from: Sarah [Visitor] · http://5oclockdaydream.blogspot.com
Hi,
My name is Sarah and I found your blog through a google search about Noah's Ark. The ark absolutely fascinates me and since discovering it two years ago, I've wanted to go inside. Did you have to break in? Was the door just open? Did you park right there in the lot? I am dying to get in. Any advice?
Thanks!
StarlightKitty17@yahoo.com
Permalink 08/29/06 @ 15:11
Comment from: Kenderella [Visitor] · http://kenderella.blogs.friendster.com/viewmaster/
I found your site while doing a search on Noah's Ark for a scavenger hunt. My weird story is here: http://kenderella.blogs.friendster.com/viewmaster/2006/10/the_lost_ark.html
Thank you for taking us into the Ark!! Your site rocks, can't wait to explore more.
Permalink 10/01/06 @ 20:30
Comment from: Nathan [Visitor]
That's right down 5th street from where I live. Anyone want to go in the hotel?
Permalink 12/26/06 @ 19:28
Comment from: Robert [Visitor]
My wife and I ate there in 1967. We remember the clam chowder soup as being delicious.
Permalink 02/10/07 @ 13:54
Comment from: Justin [Visitor]
Hey I've lived by there my whole life and have wanted to explore it. Now I'm headed out before it getts destroyed. If you would like to get together sometime and explore some places send me an E-mail I would love to hang out with you guys sometime.
Esprit15000@aol.com
Permalink 03/21/07 @ 14:39
Comment from: GRK [Visitor]
I also remember eating at the Ark when I was much younger, and as Robert mentions above, the clam chowder was excellent. They also used to stick little "giraffe" swizzle sticks in the beverages, made of clear orange plastic. We kids thought those were pretty cool. Even as a kid, though, I remember the place being pretty expensive... and I wasn't even paying! But it was indeed a nice restaurant, and it's sad to see that this landmark has turned into an eyesore.
Permalink 08/13/07 @ 14:23
Comment from: Andrew [Visitor]
Hi,
My name is Andre and I found your blog through a yahoo search about Noah's Ark. The ark is all some to me, I've wanted to go inside. Did you have to break in? Was the door just open? Did you park right there in the lot? I am dying to get in. Any advice?
Thanks!
Permalink 08/21/07 @ 11:04
My grandfather built the ark, he also built most of the tables and chairs inside the ark, the original wooden handles from the doors he made straight from a cherry tree on his land, i was there today when it was torn down
Permalink 08/30/07 @ 00:14
Comment from: Eric [Visitor]
Cool little article. I have had a weird fascination with this place for a while. I went out there about 2 years back with my camera. I had intended on just taking some shots of the outside, but the doors leading inside thru that side walkway were open, so I helped myself inside. Got a couple cool souveniers and a lot of great pictures and video. I'd be happy to trade you them if you have any interest.
Permalink 09/07/07 @ 13:03
Comment from: Quazar [Visitor]
What a site to see. I can't believe that the city tore down what I believe to be the 8th wonder of the world.Unfortunatly it no longers stands, but it will always be with us is spirit.
Permalink 09/24/07 @ 17:38
Comment from: Barry [Visitor]
Living in Kansas City and having relatives in St. Louis, I rode in the parental unit's delux-family-truckster past the Ark many times during the 1970's. I had wondered about eating there each time we passed. On a business trip, around Nov. 1988, I had the chance to stop by Noah's on the way home from a seminar in St.Louis. I was with a friend about the same age I was that gleemed at the thought of actually having dinner there - as she had had similar drive-by experiences as a child. So we stopped and went in.

Permalink 11/05/07 @ 18:49
Comment from: Barry [Visitor]
After a really long time in the run-down, stuck in the '70s, dull and dirty lobby - waitingfor someone (anyone?) to seat us, we were escorted to a dimly lit table that had that wonderful surface sheen that only a bacteria ridden, oily old table wipe/rag can provide. As we settled in for what was sure to be a fine dining experience, we both were assulted with the wafting of what certainly must have been gasses from an open sewer pipe - I mean it was baaad! It felt as though it might have burnt my lungs. But still we countinued to wait... and wait... and wait for our server to show up. After neither of us could handle the smell any longer (at least 10 minutes) we decided that we had both had enough and walked out - seeking refuge and a tasty meal at a nearby Steak and Shake.

Thus, ended my 15-20 year fastination with that certain roadside restaurant in St. Charles, MO.

I guess, I should have expected it to smell like a zoo - I mean, it WAS after all - Noah's Ark!
Permalink 11/05/07 @ 18:50
Comment from: Gerd [Visitor] · http://www.cigland.com
Very nice site!
Permalink 01/29/08 @ 09:04
Comment from: Myrna Minkoff [Visitor]
Awesome.
Permalink 02/29/08 @ 17:49
Comment from: michael [Visitor]
during the flood of '93, the red cross relocated me and my family to the ark. i spent a whole summer living there with my sisters and my mom, i will never forget those days, i was in awe the first time i saw it, and when my mom died we took her back to st charles for her burial and i laid eyes on it once again....
Permalink 06/16/08 @ 07:33
Comment from: Paige (from Ferguson) [Visitor]
To quote what was commented earlier, orange plastic giraffe swizzle sticks! That is THE thing I remember about the place (in addition to possible Africa photo wallpaper in the dining room)-I was with my Mom, Grandma and younger sister after I'd been to a rollerskate birthday party someplace in the area.
Permalink 09/11/08 @ 22:28
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