I have become fascinated with the Griesedieck family, the “lost” brewing family of St. Louis. Everyone’s heard of the Busches and Lemps, but for much of the Twentieth Century, the three branches of the Griesedieck family fought competitively for dominance in the St. Louis and national beer market, Falstaff being the most famous (an heir brews Griesedieck again, and it is very good beer). My family and I finally made it out to the Griesedieck estate, which was called Rock Alva, probably a play off the family member, Alvin, who lived at the property. The stone tower from 1910, which seems to have functioned as the carriage house/garage, dominates the site.
But for the life of me, I cannot figure out where the main house was. Is it the now adulterated building shown above, which appears to have originally been in the Shingle Style?
One of the final Griesedieck heirs, Father Ed, donated the land to the Paracletes, who counseled troubled Roman Catholic priests. Apparently they violated their promise and sold the land to a McMansion developer who destroyed one of the last pristine estates in St. Louis County. The view is incredible, though blocked by balloon frame behemoths.
Did you or your family ever visit Rock Alva back in the day? What do you remember? Do you have pictures? I would love to talk to you. Below are some more pictures of the stunning tower. The land has now been donated to the Lindbergh School District, because the previous owner, one of the founding fathers of Sunset Hills, could not get a zoning variance to open the property as a library. Schools are not beholden to the same constraints. He won in the end.