The block of Lafayette Avenue heading west between Waverly and Simpson places is very well preserved, with five Second Empire houses, apparently built in two phases. The first house is the home of Dr. Hermann Luyties, the homeopathic physician, who is perhaps most famous today for his burial monument in Bellefontaine Cemetery.
Well preserved and rehabbed, the beauty of millwork, brought down in price due to the mechanization of planing mills after the Civil War, shines in the cornices and dormers of Second Empire houses.
The next three houses, also in the Second Empire style, seem to have been built as triplets. The Italianate country house labeled No. 3 is the home of Edward Bredell, a wealthy dry goods store owner whose son was a Confederate officer killed in combat in the Civil War in 1864.
These are some nice Second Empire houses! They have turrets over their entrance portals, which are rare in St. Louis now, and their Mansard roofs swell in and out, alternately.
Paint was expensive, so the more colors used would show wealth. But it was also important to show that the front of the house was made of expensive stone brought in from the mountains of east-central Missouri via new rail connections after the Civil War, so that would not have been painted originally.
Looking east, the view is almost perfect.
Next up, we see the changing style of the house built on the grounds of the Bredell country home. It is in the Romanesque Revival, and it shows how architectural tastes were changing.
Update: I went back and visited Simpson Place in January of 2020.
William Simpson built this house, and the nearby private place is named after him. We’ll come back in the fall when the leaves are off the trees to look at Simpson Place.
Again, Lafayette Square was prominent well past the Italianate and Second Empire styles fell out of fashion.