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Maximilian Feuerbacher House

I’ve never actually looked closely at the Maximilian Feuerbacher House before, but it’s come back to my attention because it’s been bought by new owners who are restoring it to its former beauty after decades of prior ownership.

It’s one of the oldest houses built by a brewery owner, dating back to the early 1870s, as far as we can tell. The trim on the front of the house is not stone, but rather cast iron, which was originally painted white.

William Swekosky, Max Feuerbacher Residence, Southeast Corner of Twelfth and Sidney 1940-59, Missouri History Museum, N04013

Originally, the house sat on a much larger parcel, including the land to the east down Sidney Street, and the carriage house, buried down an alley, would have been more visible.

It even appears on Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis, which was published in 1876.

Max Feuerbacher House, Detail of Plate 27 of Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis, 1876.

The cupola provides great views of St. Louis, and would have given an even broader aspect of the city before more buildings were built after the 1870s when this was the suburbs.

Maximilian is a name with a long history in Germany, and was the name of many Holy Roman Emperors. Feuerbacher actually means “Fire Brook” in German.

Look at the massive blocks of cut ashlar limestone for the foundation, with chamfered edges.

The house overall is in excellent condition and another example of Italianate country homes that I wrote about at St. Louis Magazine several years ago.

Of particular interest is the front entrance, which fire insurance maps show originally was wood frame, but is now made of brick, which is clearly a later addition.

As you can see below, there was once very ornate classical ornament that we suspect was originally cast iron, as well. Much of the original woodwork is still intact inside.

William Swekosky, Max Feuerbacher Residence, Twelfth and Sidney, Front Entrance Detail, July 1950, Missouri History Museum, N03167

Feuerbacher was an owner of the Green Tree Brewery, also in Soulard, along with several other owners. There were probably caves along Sidney Street, but there is no entrance in the house, so quit asking!

E. Jungenfeld and Co. Portfolio of Breweries and Kindred Plants, Missouri History Museum

5 Comments

  1. Green Tree Brewery still stands as Big Daddy’s in Soulard just down Sidney!

  2. Quite right about the meaning of the name. It’s possible his family is from Feuerbach – “a district of the city of Stuttgart. Its name is derived from the small river (i.e. Bach) of the same name that flows from the neighboring district of Botnang through Feuerbach.” Wiki. Beautiful house, interesting discussion as always!

    • Bob, thank you for doing the research! That is certainly possible. I wonder how a stream could acquire such a dramatic name.

  3. Feuer is german for Fire so Firebrook. He was my great grandfather. I did not know that part of the brewery building is now Big Daddy’s. I will have to check that out. My grandfather was also a Max and he was an attorney for the Busch’s. He died early from a heart attack. My father (John Henry) was one of his two sons.

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