High Style Town Houses
While Second Empire, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque design gained their fullest expression in large houses, they also appeared in the town house. Of course, the degree of ornament the town house displayed varied according to the particular means of the owner or occupant.
Second Empire Town Houses
Second Empire elements were common in town houses during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. A benefit of the high mansard rood was the additional size of the third floor, an important consideration given urban space limitations. Unlike the detached house, the town house usually had a true mansard only at the front facade; parapet walls continued up a full story on each side elevation. Second Empire town houses are found in Soulard, Hyde Park, Old North St. Louis, Benton Park and Carondelet.
The three-story brick house at 1310 Hebert Street, in Old North St. Louis, is a good example of the Second Empire town house. The house is three bays wide, with recessed entry at the right of the front facade. Windows are segmentally arched, with limestone keystones. The slate mansard roof has two pedimented dormers and the cornice displays large, paired brackets.
Queen Anne Town Houses
Queen Anne town houses are rarer in St. Louis than Second Empire townhouses. Generally, the Queen Anne design lent itself to larger, more elaborate houses, in which the full expression of decorative treatments and roof configurations could be used.
The two and a half story town house at 1419 Hebert is built in the Queen Anne style. The house has an entry under a decorative porch at the far left of the front facade, balanced by a large stylized Palladian window under a basket arch. A recessed porch at the second story has a railing of honeycomb brick work. The house has an asymmetrical roof configuration, with shingled front gable.
Romanesque Revival Town Houses
The Romanesque Revival was perhaps the leading architectural style for town house design at the end of the nineteenth century. Unlike Richardsonian Romanesque designs, the main feature of a Romanesque Revival town house is the use of arched motifs around doors and windows, without the deep recesses and rough-cut stone of the Richardsonian version. The style was particularly popular in St. Louis: a cadre of talented masons vied with each other to produce unusual and inventive designs, using a profusion of masonry patterns.
Romanesque Revival town houses of the Victorian Period were characteristically detailed with an ornate brick cornice, and windows with decorative brick arches. Often, the openings featured paired windows with elaborate wood mullions.
The row of town houses at 904-08 Lami Street is an excellent representation of St. Louis Romanesque Revival. The row consists of two single-family buildings and a multi-family flat. Arches of the recessed entries and first story windows have brick archivolt molding; the second story windows are interspersed with slender engaged columns leading to a heavy brick cornice and frieze, created with a variety of molded brick patterns.