A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II: Property Types
Period 3 - The World's Fair City & the Automobile (1904-1940)
Residential Property Types
Concrete House Types
The use of concrete as a structural material was developed towards the end of the 19th century. Although there are isolated examples of concrete houses in the United States dating from the 1870's, very few concrete buildings were constructed before this century.
Concrete Block Houses
Concrete block was used as an affordable alternative to stone construction in the early 20th century. All types of vernacular buildings appeared in concrete block, although its use in residential design was short-lived. A variety of houses in this construction material are located in the Concrete Block Historic District, at Julian and Goodfellow; but isolated examples are also found in Baden.
The Prairie Style house at 1243 Oakley Street, built 1906 in the Academy neighborhood, appears to be rough-faced ashlar stone but in fact is constructed of cast concrete blocks. The house is very similar to the earliest Prairie Style houses built by Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago. Despite the fact that it is square rather than rectangular, and concrete block rather than brick, the building displays the same horizontal emphasis, broad wall surfaces, extended eaves and square window openings.
Reinforced Concrete Houses
Reinforced concrete as a material for residential construction is rare in St. Louis. The structural support of the building may be load-bearing concrete walls, or a skeleton formed from concrete columns and beams; the concrete itself, reinforced with metal rods or grids, is cast in place using wood forms, or precast into the required elements and installed on the site.The house at No. 35 Westmoreland Place, from 1911 by Mauran, Russell and Crowell, is an early example of poured reinforced concrete with precast concrete details; exterior walls have a coat of rough-faced stucco. The house has a horizontal emphasis, its low-hipped roof sheathed with red tiles, and a strong intermediate cornice at the second floor level. Multi-light openings have classical enframements and the second story is highlighted by a loggia with tapered posts. A concrete carriage house is also on the property.