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Texas Avenue Between Arsenal and Pestalozzi Streets, Benton Park West, Revisited Fall 2020

I realized that my previous visit to the two blocks of Texas Avenue between Arsenal and Pestalozzi in September of 2019 (Crittenden cuts through there, but it’s practically just a glorified alley in Benton Park West) did not do this incredible stretch of street justice. In fact, the corner storefront, above and below, right on the northeast corner with Arsenal, is pretty spectacular by itself.

Moving north there are some great Italianate houses waiting renovation.

The street grid is slightly bent here from the two old French farm fields that come up from the river, and two hundred years later, they still affect houses that sit at an angle.

This massive Second Empire building shows the density of this neighborhood.

The house below illustrates an incredibly rare and early brick house form: it is wood frame but then the spaces in between are filled with brick. I know of one other house that still stands in the Benton Park neighborhood to the east built like this. I can’t imagine that it is terribly strong or durable long term.

This is an interesting story. The house was destroyed by fire, if I remember correctly, but the foundation as you might have noticed, is above ground. It was most likely built before street grading, and when Texas was finally graded, the house found its foundations above grade, so they put in the front door in what had been the basement or cellar.

This Second Empire house hasn’t changed much since last year.

I love this corner storefront and apartment building combination at Pestalozzi. The curve in the brick is not something you see anymore.

The alley house below is incredibly rare. and it is wonderful that it has survived, in between Texas and Ohio avenues.

3 Comments

  1. I’m surprised that there are still fachwerk houses in St. Louis. I wouldn’t be surprised, knowing about this house, if some more are found when siding is stripped off of some of the older houses in the area. I’m happy it’s still standing and it looks like it would be interesting to renovate. What street is the other fachwerk house on? Would it be the house in the middle of Indiana between Pestalozzi and Lynch that is covered in tan asphalt siding?

    • It’s actually on Lemp just south of Lynch. I’m interested to hear there might be another one on Indiana.

      • I’m not sure if it is actually. It may be but I took a look at the city’s website and they say it is frame and was built in 1862. It looks similar to the house on Wisconsin with the raised basement and gallery style front porch. The only difference is that the house does not have a raised basement and its gable perpendicular to the street.

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