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

Period 2 - The Victorian City and the Street Car (1870-1900)
Urban House Types

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Vernacular Town Houses

During the Victorian period, several new types of vernacular town house styles developed. The earliest were similar in appearance to Federal vernacular town houses. As the period continued, the size of the building began to increase, with more and larger units in each building than was common in the Federal period.

Queen Anne Cottages

The Queen Anne cottage is a one-story house that has restrained Queen Anne massing and details. A relatively rare house type in St. Louis, Queen Anne cottages can be found in The Ville and Carondelet neighborhoods.

The red brick house at 4050 Garfield, in The Ville, is an unusual design. The house has a side gable roof with flared eaves and features a prominent projecting bay on the front facade, with three one-over-one, segmentally arched windows. The bay is capped with an overscaled helm roof, and the cornice articulated by courses of bullnosed brick and molded brick insets. This house is evidence that even modest 19th century houses were designed with care, and that ornamental brick fronts were not reserved for high style buildings.

The house at 7212 Virginia is another Queen Anne cottage with elegant detail. The house has a tower with pyramidal roof to the left of its front gabled facade. The recessed entry is located in the tower, and has a round arch with decorative archivolt molding. The front gable features three windows separated by brick mullions with terra cotta capitals, and molded brick labels. The original recessed entry has been enclosed.

Victorian Shotgun Houses

Shotgun houses remained popular during the Victorian period. Many borrowed elements from current high style buildings for exterior decoration. In the Victorian shotgun, the roof is higher, allowing greater use of the second floor. The defining feature of the shotgun, its floor plan, remained unchanged. Shotgun houses from this period are found in The Ville, Baden, and Carondelet.

The house at 8305 Church Street, in Baden, has very modest Queen Anne detailing, primarily in its decorative porch, which has a low pediment over the entry, and turned posts. The variety of decorative ornament normally present on Queen Anne buildings is reduced in this frame example to fish scale shingles on the front gable; clapboards elsewhere, and a boxed cornice.

The shotgun house at 4452 St. Louis Avenue in The Ville owes its exterior decoration to the Shingle style. This tall narrow example also has a decorative porch, with scrollwork brackets and frieze. The original wood shingles have been replaced by asbestos shakes, an attempt to replicate the house's original appearance.

Two-story Victorian Houses With Side Entry

Another vernacular house type that appeared in the Victorian period is the two-story house with side entry. These houses can be found both north and south in the City, east of Grand Avenue. They use a variety of Victorian treatments on the narrow, front facades which face the street.

The house at 4160 Grove Street makes a slight reference to the Second Empire style with its steeply pitched mansard roof. Narrow one-over-one windows are set on first and second stories; those of the upper stories have pedimented heads. The house originally was only two rooms deep; the entry opens into the front room. The original slate shingles have been removed from the mansard, and a small addition is attached to the rear.

A more typical building of this type is 4710 Compton. This example has two one-over-one windows on the first story; bullnose brick forms both string course and archivolt trim above their segmental arches. The second story presents a shallow projecting center bay with over-scaled modified Venetian window of paired double hung sash and shaped wooden transom. Its sill is supported with a row of corbelled brick; a pronounced cornice has additional corbelling and pinnacles.

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