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Monday, February 17, 2014

'Masters of Sex' Has No Spirit of St. Louis?

Self-professed architecture geek Toby Weiss has a delightful post at his blog B.E.L.T. St. Louis (The Built Environment in Laymen's Terms) on the real-life locations depicted in Showtime's Masters of Sex series, about the groundbreaking research by William Masters and Virginia Johnson.

Weiss spoke with Thomas Maier, author of the book on which the series is based, and learned the Masters of Sex producers have yet to visit St. Louis, which he says accounts for  the many architectural discrepancies. (That atomic-age, sleek home that Bill and wife Libby Masters occupy in the series? Not--they lived in a two-story brick colonial.)
And though Weiss has tried hard to find the brothels that played such a key role in Master's early research, he's not found an actual location yet. (Fun fact: Maier notes that St. Louis Chief of Police H. Sam Priest protected Masters, who delivered one of his children, and made sure the prostitutes in the study did not get busted while it was going on.) One thing is certain: the brothels used would have been considerably less picturesque than the one in the series. For help, Weiss entreats his readers: "If you’re as curious as I am about finding Bill’s cathouse, and know someone who knows these kinds of things, please let me know. The seedy underbelly of St. Louis was deep and vivid, and in this particular case, led to major scientific discoveries that permanently and positively altered the sexual landscape. If those brothel buildings still stand, they deserve an historic marker, don’t you think?"  h/t @sarahkendzior   -- Barbara Bedway

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