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Shenandoah Avenue, Michigan to Minnesota Avenues, North Side

I’ve always been intrigued by the architecture of Shenandoah Avenue in Tower Grove East; it is distinct and much older. It was obviously platted and developed earlier than the rest of the neighborhood, which was largely built speculatively in the early Twentieth Century. There are smaller blue collar houses southeast of the intersection of Compton and Shenandoah, but the latter’s built environment is still intriguing. Shenandoah Avenue’s name is a remnant of what had been a whole naming system of the east-west streets in this area that was based off East Coast rivers; Arsenal between Gravois and Grand was Susquehanna Street; Pestalozzi was Wacousta (which is not a river today, but a town in Michigan); Magnolia was Rappahannock; and Sidney was Pawhattan (sic, now James River). Juniata, by the way, to the south of Arsenal, is also the name of a tributary of the Susquehanna. The City of St. Louis standardized names of streets for simplicity’s sake throughout the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century; usually street names to the east or “dominant” names such as Arsenal won out in the renaming decisions. Some streets in Soulard have possessed four different names over their lifespan.

Due to the rise in housing prices in the neighborhood, speculators have now been sitting on properties, such as this one above, which had been damaged by fire several years ago.

Moving down the street to the east, there are amazing examples of the Romanesque Revival, such as this amazing example below with the giant tower on the right, and a common feature, a repeating row of arched windows above the porch.

The mix of slate roof shingles, terracotta, red brick, pink mortar and pink granite from the quarries around Elephant Rocks State Park combine together to make this an exceptional house.

Then there’s this beauty, a magnificent mix of various revival styles, with Romanesque Revival elements such as the windows, but with wonderful shingle style roof dormers.

This house has been painted baby blue.

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