A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types

Period 3 - The World's Fair City & the Automobile (1904-1940)
Residential Property Types

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Residential Buildings

Chateauesque Style 

Chateauesque architecture, which was based on French Renaissance models, appeared in St. Louis during the first decade of the 20th century, although it was popular in other parts of the United States a good twenty years before. Chateauesque houses are characterized by steeply pitched roofs with ornate dormers and chimneys; projecting bays and turrets are common. The Chateauesque was the last of the flamboyant, dramatic styles of the Victorian period.

The Charles Stockstrom House, at 3400 Russell Boulevard in Compton Hill, was designed by German-born Ernst C. Janssen in 1907. It is a dramatic Chateauesque design, built of tan brick, with pink terra cotta used liberally for string courses, door and window surrounds and dormers. The house is symmetrical, with an elaborate projecting central bay and wall dormer, forming the predominant stylistic element of the house. Chateauesque houses are found in the Central West End, and the Compton Hill neighborhood.

Beaux-Arts Classicism

The vision of the City Beautiful movement was born at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World's Fair), and reinforced at the 1904 Fair in St. Louis. Many prominent American architects were trained in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, France's Academy of Fine Arts. They returned imbued with the Academy's architectural philosophy, which came to be known as the Beaux-Arts Classicism. It was composed of symmetrically-placed classical elements of columns, balustrades, pediments and entablatures, combined in non-classical ways to create imposing palatial designs. Many early 20th century public buildings throughout the United States were completed in the Beaux-Arts style, and it appeared in finer residential buildings as well. Residences in the Beaux-Arts style can be found principally in the Central West End private places.

No. 9 Portland Place is an example of Beaux-Arts residential design, by Shepley, Rutan, Coolidge and Mauran in 1897. The three-story limestone building has a rusticated first story and projecting bays flanking a central entry. Above, a bank of three second story windows carries a classical pediment, and a small decorative balustrade. The large projecting cornice has an elaborate frieze.

Tudor Revival Style

The Tudor Revival style was based heavily on English architecture of the 16th century. These houses are typically brick, with a prominent front gable roof, dormers and casement windows. The obvious identifying element of Tudor Revival buildings is the decorative half-timbering, which mimics Medieval heavy timber framing. The spaces between the timbers are filled with stucco. The use of false half-timbers, especially to cover gables and bay windows, became widespread in the early 20th century, and could be found on residential buildings of all sizes. Many four-family flats throughout St. Louis have a half-timbered gable on the front facade, even though the rest of the building may have no definable architectural style. Examples of Tudor Revival architecture can be found in the Central West End and Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhoods, and on Holly Hills Boulevard, north of Carondelet Park.

No. 1 Hortense Place exemplifies the Tudor Revival style. The house has a first story of brown brick, with limestone window surrounds. False half-timbering covers the second story, front gable and dormers.

Jacobethan Revival Style

The Jacobethan Revival style derives from the architecture of the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I of Great Britain in the 16th century. Unlike other Revival styles, it is in fact a combination of elements from Elizabethan and Jacobean buildings. Brick walls with stone trim are standard materials; windows, gables and chimneys have distinctive shapes; arches, where they appear, are generally Tudor arches, a form of flattened pointed arch. Windows may be casements, and generally have stone mullions and transoms, often with small decorative stone tabs projecting into the surrounding brick. Many residential buildings after the turn of the century adopted the Jacobethan style, but it had its major impact on educational architecture. Houses of this style can be found in the private streets of the Central and North West End.

No. 28 Portland Place, designed by James P. Jamieson in 1919, exhibits almost every characteristic of the Jacobethan building: a dominant, sharply-pitched front gable; stone tabbed window and door surrounds; massive chimney; and a projecting two-story bay capped by a battlement. Note the Tudor arches of the recessed entry porch and second story windows.

Prairie Style

The Prairie style and the Arts and Crafts style are closely aligned. Both arose out of a reaction, early in the 20th century, against the highly decorative and ornate architecture of the Victorian period. The Prairie house was pioneered by architect Frank Lloyd Wright between 1890 and 1910. Houses are distinguished by low pitched roofs with projecting eaves, banked windows and a strong horizontal emphasis. There are virtually no examples of stylistically pure Prairie buildings in the City. When Prairie style elements appear in St. Louis houses, they are usually seen in combination with Arts and Crafts motives.

The house at 3011 Longfellow, constructed in 1909, exhibits primarily Prairie style design. It is a story and a half brick residence with a cross gable roof and overhanging eaves. The main entry is deeply recessed beneath an extensive porch with a low roof and flared eaves, supported by brick piers. Although Arts and Crafts detailing is present on the twin front gables, the horizontality of the Prairie style is the house's dominant characteristic, emphasized by a low brick patio wall which extends around the house.

Arts And Crafts Style

Like the Prairie style, Arts and Crafts design (sometimes called Craftsman style) featured low-pitched roofs with wide, extended eaves. In addition, there was an emphasis on the use of natural materials, particularly wood and stone in simplified forms. Exposed roof rafters, simple brackets, false half-timbering and decorative multi-light windows are all hallmarks of the style. The movement was heavily influenced by furniture manufacturer Gustav Stickley, whose Craftsman magazine was immensely popular in the early twentieth century. Stickley sought to revive the importance of craftsmanship - the superiority of things made by hand to things made by machine.

The house at 6029 Cabanne, designed by Edward Christopher and constructed in 1929, is an unusual example of the Arts and Crafts style. The dominant elements of the house's design are the massive walls and chimney of uncoursed rubble stone. The door is deeply recessed under an entry porch with a steeply-pitched roof. To the left, a projecting bay of rough-sawn wood has three multi-light windows.

Colonial Revival Style

The Colonial Revival style came to prominence in the United States at the turn of the century, and has remained a popular source of residential design ever since. Colonial Revival buildings were especially common in the 1920's, when the restoration of Williamsburg fueled American interest in 18th century architecture. The Colonial Revival buildings replicate, on a larger scale, the architecture of early America. Houses are strictly symmetrical and carry classical cornices. Hipped roofs, topped with a balustrade or a cupola, are common. Often a portico with columns is centered on the front facade; doors have fanlight transoms, sidelights and sometimes tabernacle frames.

The house at 47 Portland Place was designed by Weber and Groves, in 1903. The symmetrical house has a central, two-story portico with a modified Doric entablature and fluted columns. Beneath the portico is a paneled entry door with fanlight and tabernacle frame. Above, a Palladian window is set beneath a large round arch. Six-over-six windows have shaped lintels. Four roof dormers, also with pediments, have round-headed windows with decorative muntins. Double chimneys at each end are joined by brick arches. When constructed, the house had a balustrade that extended the length of the roof.

Mission Style

The Mission style was modeled on 17th century Spanish Colonial missions of the southwest, and was the Californian version of the Colonial Revival style, reflecting the same disillusionment with earlier 19th century architecture, and rejecting foreign styles in favor of native models. It soon spread throughout the United States. The most prominent features of this style are low-pitched, red tile roofs with curvilinear shaped parapets, and stuccoed wall surfaces, with an absence of sculptural ornament.

The house at 4272 Flora Place, was constructed in the Shaw neighborhood in 1913. The symmetrical three bay house has a central entry under a tiled hood with large brackets. Triple windows on the first floor give way to paired windows on the second. Above the entry is set a triple casement window under a segmental arch, with false balcony. A shaped ornamental parapet rises from the center of the hipped roof.

Art Deco Style

The Art Deco style appeared from 1920-1940. It was a modern style, in that it discarded classical form and decoration; it was characterized by smooth wall surfaces, flat roofs, horizontal belt courses and asymmetrical facades. Ornament, where used, was geometric and in low relief. In St. Louis, the Art Deco style was rarely used in single-family buildings, and then only in details. The style was more popular in multi-family residences, particularly in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood.

Built in the late 1930's, the single-family house at 6362 Devonshire is Art Deco only in its front facade. The building itself is a traditional, two-story brick builder's design, with low-pitched gable roof. The front facade, however, is pure Art Deco, and presents an asymmetrical entry, whose stone surround rises nearly a story and a half in flat geometric ornament. Windows are irregularly-sized, including a large round window centered between stories to the right. The yellow brick facade has minimal decoration.

Eclectic Style

As in Victorian house design, architects in the twentieth century often combine elements of several current architectural styles. The house at 2950 Julian by Edward Nolte in 1906, exemplifies this trend. Recalling the earlier Italian Palazzo style, a central tower is flanked by projecting two-story wings. House and tower have low-pitched hipped roofs with wide overhangs. The house is an example of concrete block construction; an experiment in the use of modern material which failed to find a permanent place in St. Louis building design.

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