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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Vernacular Residential Buildings

Foursquare Houses

The Foursquare house appeared just before the turn of the 20th century. These two or two and a half story houses were constructed in both frame and masonry; have square plans, and pyramidal roofs. Usually the entry is placed to one side under a small porch, although front verandahs were not uncommon. Foursquares may possess the detailing of any architectural style current at the time of construction; but Arts and Crafts influence was by far the most prevalent. The Foursquare interior has an open floor plan with rooms leading directly into one another-a departure from the multiple rooms connected by hallways that was characteristic of Victorian houses. Foursquare houses were built in outlying urban neighborhoods, as well as rural areas across the United States.

The house at 6163 McPherson is representative of the Foursquare house type. The two and a half story house has a entry with sidelights and transom under a small pedimented porch. Windows are large and paired on the second story; a large hipped dormer projects above the pyramidal roof. The house is particularly distinctive with a heavy ornamental frieze broken by the heads of the second story windows. This particular detailing, which can be found on many houses in the central and northwest areas of the City, may be a St. Louis original.

Central Passage Foursquare Houses

A subtype of the Foursquare house, these early 20th century buildings are similar in form but the entry is centered on the front facade, and opens into a central hall. Central passage houses are usually constructed in brick or stone.

The house at 6128 Kingsbury, in Skinker-DeBaliviere, was built in 1909. The stone house is two and a half stories tall, with its entry flanked by large, one-over-one windows. A decorative one-story porch extends across the front facade. Four one-over-one windows are spaced symmetrically on the second story.

Gable Front Foursquare Houses

This is another foursquare variant, of which numerous examples were built in St. Louis in the first two decades of the 20th century. Gable Front Foursquares generally borrowed their decorative detail from the Arts and Crafts style: their characteristic front gable was covered with false half-timbering or heavy fascia boards with pronounced brackets.

The house at 5931 Waterman, built in 1914, has a projecting front gable roof supported by brackets. The entry is at the right with a multi-light door and sidelights. Windows are paired nine-over-one sash. Arts and Crafts influence is present in the half-timbered gables of both houses and porch, and the decorative brickwork.

Bungalow Houses

The word bungalow is derived from the Hindustani word bangla, or "belonging to Bengal," and was the term used by the British in India for a low house with verandah. By the time most American bungalows were being built, about 1900-20, their design owed far more to the influence of Japanese building than to any Indian type. The bungalow was especially prevalent in California, and it spread across the country through illustrations in architectural and interior design journals. It was thought that the bungalow plan, with large open rooms contributed to a healthier family life. Bungalows are always one-story in height, with two broad front facing gables, that of the house behind and slightly to the side of the porch. Houses could be frame or masonry; the porch often had tapered posts. Most bungalows expressed Arts and Crafts detailing, with elaborate door and window trim.

The house at 4745 Lewis Place is a good representation of a St. Louis bungalow. Constructed of brick, it has a rubble stone foundation and porch with tapered posts. False half-timbering delineates both gables and the front bay window.

Bungaloid Houses

The Bungaloid house type is a generic term applied to a variety of house forms which exhibit Bungalow elements without possessing the true double front gable.

The one and a half story brick house at 700 Bellerive Boulevard is an example of a bungaloid house with a side gable. The house has a low-pitched roof punctuated by dormers with the characteristic broad bungalow gable, which appears again on the porch.

Shaped Parapet Single Family Houses

The Shaped Parapet Single-Family is a brick one-story house type with a front shaped parapet. Popular between 1900 and 1920, it has a narrow two or three bay front facade. The earliest examples have recessed entries and Romanesque Revival detail; later houses had a small one-story porch. A distinctive feature of these houses is the use of decorative or glazed bricks to enliven the front facade.

The house at 5355 Tennessee, in the Dutchtown neighborhood, is characteristic of the Shaped Parapet, Single-Family house. The one-story house has a brown brick front facade that is three bays wide, with foundation and porch posts of glazed white brick. The entry is on the right, under a hipped roof porch, and has multi-light transom and sidelights. The decorative three-over-one windows are a detail from the Arts and Crafts style.

Front Gambrel Colonial Houses

A vernacular variant to the Colonial Revival style is the Front Gambrel Colonial, a one and a half story house, with a gambrel (a double-sloped gable) roof. Generally these houses had a two-bay front facade, small front porch and decorative details taken from the Colonial Revival style. The height of the gambrel roof provided nearly a full second floor. Gambrel Colonials can be found many early 20th century St. Louis neighborhoods; particularly Penrose, Tower Grove South and Bevo Mill.

The house at 5835 Lotus is a front gambrel colonial house, constructed of brick in a Flemish bond. Its gambrel roof has a boxed cornice with returns. The porch, which is a major design element of the house, has brick piers supporting two short columns and a decorative handrail.

Neo-Tudor Revival Style

Neo-Tudor Revival refers to a one-story vernacular house type, constructed in the 1930's and 40's, that has certain elements of Tudor Revival houses, combined with the hand-crafted look of Arts and Crafts design. These houses are usually one, or one and a half stories, with a front, steeply-pitched gable roof. They combine a variety of stone and brick detail, and usually display a high, catslide roof over the entry with a decorative false chimney at one side.

The house at 5450 Walsh Street, in St. Louis Hills is characteristic of Neo-Tudor houses. The entry, which is surrounded by rough-cut stone, is placed within a slightly off-center, steeply-pitched catslide gable. To the left of the entry is an overscaled chimney.

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