ST. LOUIS — St. Louis is named after King Louis IX, who ruled in France nearly 800 years ago. That’s when Notre Dame was under construction.
"It's interesting to think about our namesake city, that man, that king, once walked the very halls, the very church that's now so horribly damaged,” architecture critic Chris Naffziger said.
He said to see Notre Dame's influence on St. Louis, all you have to do is look up. We met him at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
"Holy Trinity kind of goes crazy with these rose windows,” he said. "And that's what's so tragic, the rose windows at Notre Dame were famous."
Naffziger said there are dozens of churches in St. Louis like Holy Trinity, inspired by the French Gothic design of Notre Dame.
That's because when our city's population was booming during the 19th century, Notre Dame was old, undergoing a renovation, and getting lots of attention, he said.
"And that French architect wrote extensively about the French Gothic, and that caused a lot of architects here in St. Louis and around the United States to build Gothic churches,” he said.
Some of them are now in trouble.
"A lot of these beautiful Gothic churches influenced by beautiful churches in France like Notre Dame, a lot of them have become abandoned,” he said.
He hopes the fire there lights a fire under us here to preserve our history.
"These are treasures that have to be maintained and they have to be taken care of,” he said.