This subdivision activity engendered a wave of residential construction in the Bremen-Hyde Park area. It is visibly apparent in the 1875 perspective view in Compton and Dry's atlas, which shows the area to be well built up beyond the present Florissant Avenue. Predominantly a residential district, the buildings are largely multiple family dwellings with a mixture of single family structures and row houses. In the nineteenth century, most of the multiple dwellings were called tenements, indicating occupancy by more than three independent families or else residency above commercial first floor uses. Because of large family sizes of that time, considerable flexibility was used in interior plans for these buildings whose architecture reflects the middle class status of the occupants - artisans, merchants and industrial emnloYees .
Most of the houses in the area are built of brick with few frame examples. Not very many are one story in height, and two or three story types are commonplace; the latter's top floor is usually built into a steep roof with gables and dormers. Practically all of them were built before 1900 and variations relate more to the economic status of the owners rather than to structural age. Many of these houses sustained damage from the 1927 tornado, evident in rebuilt parapets and copings making flat or low pitched roofs.
Historically, one of the earliest houses in this vicinity was a two story stone structure erected by Major William Christy in 1818 at Second and Monroe Streets. It was later converted to industrial use and was razed in the 1870's.
The oldest house presently in the area is Bissell mansion at 4426 Randall Place. Built in 1823, it is believed to be the oldest house extant in the City of St. Louis. It was saved from demolition during construction of I-70 by the Landmarks Association and was recently opened to the public as a restaurant.
Its bluff top location was simiIar to those of several other fine houses built upon high ground overlooking the Mississippi. Among these was the home of Emil Mallinckrodt at the southeast corner of Ninth and Mallinckrodt Streets, still in use as a residence in 1928. It was one of the first country houses erected in North St. Louis on a site acquired in April, 1840. The home was surrounded by many trees and had an orchard extending toward the river. Some other early houses were the Gaty mansion at 3408 North Ninth Street, near Angelrodt, built in 1845 and the home of Adolphus Meier built in 1842 on the west side of Ninth near Bremen Avenue. These were also still in use in the late 1920's. Early landmark houses long since razed include the Davis mansion (1840) at Thirteenth and Branch Streets, the Yeatman-Eddy house (1846) at Eleventh and Penrose and the Maguire, Barth and Angelrodt houses in Bremen.
In the neighborhood surrounding Hyde Park several early houses are still in existence and some are currently undergoing renovation by their owners. One of the best of these is the house at 2223 Salisbury Street purchased by William O. Shands in 1851 and enlarged by him in 1857. It is a two story brick structure with cast iron window hoods and appears today much as it did in the 1875 pictorial atlas.
Another interesting two story brick house was built at 3616 North Nineteenth Street by Caspar Linck in 1866. It is four bays wide with handsome brick detailing in its window arches and a corbelled brick cornice. At 1420 Bremen Avenue is a brick home that apparently was built in two stages. The rear portion is shown in the 1875 atlas and the front section was evidently erected some time before 1909, preserving good detail both inside and out.
A large brick house, with a dressed stone facade at 1403 Farrar Street was completed in 1876 for Charles Naber, a lumber dealer. An indication of Naber's business is seen in a two story wooden porch across the length of the rear wing. Its intricate jigsaw carpentry is reminiscent of the detail on nineteenth century Mississippi River steamboats.
Facing Hyde Park at 1907 Bremen Avenue is a three story house with a mansard roof, completed in 1879. It sets up on a high stone foundation, has wood detailing on its porch and features a bay window with iron cresting on its roof.
Some multiple dwellings exhibit similar ornamental detail such as on the four-family flat at 4104-06 North Twentieth Street. It has fine masonry work and a facade with red sandstone trim. A two story flat at 1432 Penrose has well executed face brick, with arched windows containing stained glass and decorative iron grills over the basement windows.
An outstanding example of the one story style house is to be found on the northeast corner of Farragut and Blair. This is a long, narrow brick structure with a gable roof with also covers a long porch that is set into the side of the house.
Row houses are represented in the Hyde Park area by several good examples. Eleven adjoining houses at 1415-35 Bremen were built about 1873 by Francis Watkins. They are each three bays wide and three stories high with mansard roofs into which three large gables were set to give unity to the whole design. Unfortunately two of these houses have been demolished.
Allied in appearance to rowhouses were closely spaced detached houses of similar design. During the 1890's, groups of such houses were built on both sides of Newhouse Avenue between Eleventh and Blair. They are two and four family dwellings, two stories high with recessed entrances framed with arched brickwork. The northern edge of Hyde Park is well marked by six large houses on Bremen Avenue between Blair and North Nineteenth Street. They present a varied appearance but mass together well.
Image - 19th Century wrought iron balcony
Image - Typical Victorian houses near Hyde Park
Image - A steamboat gothic verandah
Image - Rehabilitation work on Hyde Park rowhouses