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4200 Block of Lexington Avenue, The Greater Ville

We encountered something that is relatively rare in the Greater Ville neighborhood and that is an industrial building. Also, the brick is not standard St. Louis red brick, but the sort of color one might expect in Chicago.

What was this building? Well, there are some clues. There are faded painted signs that say “Ceilings” and “Closets” on either side of the doorway below. Looking at fire insurance maps, many of the lots around this building were listed as having piles of “old building materials,” so I suspect this was a construction company or planing mill.

Much of the rest of the block is filled with tidy one-and-a-half story bungalows.

There are some slightly older bungalows with stately arched windows and pediments; interestingly, when the tin one on the right rusted off, it was replaced with some stucco designs.

A small Gothic Revival church sits in the middle of the block, which is obviously unusual.

The windows have been covered with siding.

But there are some clues to the church’s placement; looking closely, there are some wood frame buildings next door, so obviously there was some sort of exurban development out this way.

Update: After the picture above was taken, and before publication, the house on the right was damaged by fire on December 28, 2018.

And of course, as I always tell my readers, a wood frame Second Empire house is extremely rare and highly valuable. It looked to be occupied, but I am not sure.

Other wood frame houses are not doing so well; this blue one looks fine, but the back is completely destroyed; you can see the roofline starting to go downward to the left.

I think these houses were never meant to be permanent, and they are now really starting to suffer as many are from the 1870s.

3 Comments

  1. The industrial building was the warehouse for the Andrew Schaefer Supply & wrecking Company. The retail operation was just north of there at 4230 W. Natural Bridge.

    • Oh, that makes perfect sense for why the Sanborn maps showed “old building materials” on the surrounding lots! Thank you!

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