Thursday, April 21, 2011

111/365: Toynbee Tile

Toynbee Tile, 6th and Olive

Arnold Toynbee, 2001 A Space Odyssey, resurrection on Jupiter? Yes, that's the key idea in Toynbee tiles. This one is in the pavement near the northeast corner of 6th and Olive, beside the Starbucks.

They are found here and there across the northeast quarter of the US, most of all in Philadelphia, where they are believed to have originated. There were four in St. Louis. The city paved over two of them a couple of years ago during regular street maintenance, oblivious to their value (I would have paid the city streets department to save them for me).

The back story is complicated and uncertain. I did a series about them on St. Louis Daily Photo about them four years ago. The first post with as much information as I could find is here. My second find, the one pictured above, has more research and can be found here. This post, with info about tiles in other cities in in this post. The badly deteriorated fourth one is here.

Have any of you seen Toynbee tiles in your city?

There is an unusual Thursday Arch picture on St. Louis Daily Photo.

Helicopter In Front Of The Arch


Monogram Necklace said...

Found this through Google Images after seeing Resurrect Dead doc.
Interesting story behind the Toynbee Mystery

Anonymous said...

I also found this site after watching Resurrect Dead documentary. I live near St. louis so decided take a little trip and see this tile. Unfortunally it has been removed, all that is left is the tar the tiles once held.

Anonymous said...

There is a guy in St. Louis named Joe Parisi that is apparently connected with the laying of these tiles. His name has been mentioned quite a lot in connection with the tiles over the last few years. He had a blog where he spoke of them but the site was suddenly closed down a few months back.

Anonymous said...

I saw Joe Parisi mentioned on facebook and another site that talked about the tiles in Idaho. He's supposedly an artist of some sort and worked in media. Kind of makes sense.

Anonymous said...

The guys who made the Toynbee Tile movie have said they believe Joe Parisi is the House of Hades tiler. He's the guy in St. Louis that does a bunch of bizarre art. Well, one of I should say. He was- as I understand it a KDHX dj for years. Not sure about that. I checked their website and it doesn't look like he is currently.

Anonymous said...

A quick search of Joe lead me to this video collage of some art he's done, but it doesn't show any of the tiles.

Anonymous said...

The thing with "Joe Parisi". He's a big fan of the tiles and the artist and he's made and laid some. He's pretty easily found online and he'll tell you that himself.