Seven years ago, I traveled to the southwestern corner of Kirkwood, where it abuts Sunset Hills to search for the home of Edwin Lemp, the last heir of William Lemp Sr. Edwin’s magnificent country house sits high above the Meramec River, but traces of his estate also lie east of I-270. But first, this barricade blocks people from driving off the old Lemp Road that led up to Big Bend originally; it looks down on 270 now.
On the east side, reached by Forest Avenue, Lemp Road has been rerouted by a subdivision that looks to have been laid out in the 1950s. But its name remains.
The original gates, which would be locked every night, still stand, their metal rusting away.
I believe this house was probably one of the caretakers’ houses.
This house below almost certainly was, as its rough stone construction and woodwork mirror that of the main house at Cragwold. I realized that I-270 was constructed while Edwin Lemp was still alive; what did he think of his placid animal park being slashed and crushed apart by interstate construction, a giant trench cutting deep into the hill east of his house? Did he fight it? Or was he too old at that point to fight back? I wish I could have seen this beautiful corner of St. Louis County before it was ruined.