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Around Tower Grove East, Winter 2020-21

Remember, if you’re going down a street with a bunch of houses from the 1910s, and all the sudden there are houses from the 1950s, you need to do some investigating. Yes, it may have just been where a house burned down, or maybe a livery stable yard, but sometimes there is something really cool to discover.

Noah Miller Ludlow Residence, 2621 Virginia Avenue, c. 1894, Missouri History Museum, N34005

On a quiet block of Virginia, just a block away from another really fascinating country home to the north, was the Noah Miller Ludlow House, in another variant of the Italianate style. It was demolished like most Italianate country homes, but we can still get an idea from Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis of the setting of the house in 1876. Ludlow is an incredibly interesting figure, born in 1795 and dying in 1886, owning live theaters and acting himself at times. As you can see below, there was a grove of trees around his house on the left, and the streets, while platted out, had not been cut through yet. You can see how the land is still much higher than the street grade to this day. Fences on property lines also help delineate streets, such as Virginia, which would eventually be cut through in front of the two villas.

Update: The porch below was rebuilt in the summer of 2021; whether it was at the behest of the City or the volition of the property owner, I do not know.

In other news, the front porch, which was not original to this four family at the corner of Shenandoah and Virginia was unceremoniously demolished recently. You can see its original appearance in this post, along with its neighbor to the west, which was clearly built at the same time by the same builder.

I also found another photograph from the Lemen Collection, this time looking west down Arsenal just to the east of South Compton Avenue.

Update: The corner building in the distance was struck by an SUV in July of 2021.

It looks very similar, but also not completely, as we can see that the turret on the northwest corner is gone; the porch on the northeast corner is wrapped with what looks like something from the 1970s, and most of the Arts and Crafts houses on the southwest side are demolished.

Richard Lemen, View from the 3100 block of Arsenal looking west to the intersection with South Compton, c. 1930, Lemen Streets and Sewers Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, St. Louis Public Library, Lemen 925.

The streetcars tracks are buried under asphalt, and trees obscure the view.

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