2 min read
Posted on 05.09.13
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 05.09.13

I bring you the formal condolences of the City of St. Louis and our heartfelt gratitude that you shared this good man with us for so long. To understand my own profound sadness at the passing of Sidney L. Stone, you have to know some things.

The first is that Sid Stone was the older and smarter piece of a legal one-two punch of which I was, for a while, the younger and less experienced puncher. Sid was a masterful attorney of the sort who did his best work through the mouths of other lawyers. He knew judges and the law as well as any lawyer I have ever met. But, it was as a legal strategist and tactician - and as a deal-maker - that Sid Stone excelled. I learned a lot from this most unlikely Texas Longhorn.

I am quite certain that the legal canons prevent me from discussing specific cases; and I am equally certain that there are lawyers in this room who were involved in one of his numerous real estate ventures or businesses. You know, without the case histories, that Sid was for seventy years a fierce warrior, an honest partner, and an honorable adversary.

A second reason I mourn Sid's passing is that it removes another member of a generation of St. Louisans whose names must not be lost or forgotten when this chapter of our city's history is written. They, more than many others, are responsible for how St. Louis looks today. Sid Stone loved St. Louis, especially its stately buildings. Sid and his partners and his clients bought many of them; and Sid ended up owning some of the best of them. His preference, which kept intact the streetscapes of Washington Avenue and Tucker Boulevard, was to re-use buildings, not demolish them. What we call today "sustainability" and used to call "preservation," Sid just called "good business." We would have lost so much more of our best building stock had Sid Stone not had an eye for granite, brick, and terra cotta.

This Stone was a truly cornerstone of our City's rebirth. We celebrate his memory today.