Update: Urban Assets is now defunct, and the property has a new owner.
Every so often, I see a house that’s abandoned, falling apart, and I realized that it is irreplaceable, and one of a kind. The grand house at Cook and Whittier is one such house, and its sad decline has been going on for at least a decade. It was built in 1892 and is now owned by the shadowy real estate holding company Urban Assets. I really love what they’ve done with the place.
What is really great about this house is how it anchors its intersection; viewed from either the front or side, it looks like a complete composition. In fact, it’s hard to say there really is a front or side, but rather two fronts.
I particularly find this front window intriguing; it almost looks like it is supposed to mimic a front door, but yet I don’t think it ever was.
I don’t know whether to call this eclectic, or even a little Romanesque Revival; it is ambiguous, like so many of the grand homes in St. Louis.
The turret is really wonderful; you could imagine stepping out on the second floor porch and looking down the street on a cool evening.
The Tuscan columns are starting to crumble, unfortunately.
The roof is a complete disaster, and I can only assume that water is pouring into the house when it rains. The chimney, which was present in earlier photos, is now gone.
You can see sky through the roof now, through the slate shingles.
The front door is still intact, replete with more Tuscan columns; I can only imagine what it was like originally.
At most, we can now hope the columns end up at a salvage yard instead of the landfill.
The original woodwork is still intact, but covered with a thick layer of paint; I would suspect it was originally stained.
My, even the back of the house is stately. It’s a shame the house’s rehab attempt earlier last decade failed; yes, someone tried to fix it up but were blocked from their goal.