Workers find hidden portraits in historic St. Louis building

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Crews restoring a St. Louis building that predates the Civil War never expected someone to be peering back at them when they knocked out part of a dropped plaster ceiling.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that two portraits of historic men were found on a ceiling in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s “museum building” built in 1859.

One of the portraits is of German-American botanist George Engelmann, who was a good friend of legendary St. Louis businessman and philanthropist Henry Shaw. Another portrait is of Carl Linnaeus, an 18th-century Swedish researcher known as the father of the system of classifying and naming organisms.

Workers also found what they believe is a third ceiling portrait that has since crumbled away. Conservators will take a look at that.