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The Beauty of Dutchtown, Part 2, California Avenue Between Gasconade and Osage Streets

Starting at Gasconade Street and heading north on California Avenue, there is a wonderful row of Second Empire buildings, with a storefront on the corner, and then two houses next door. Above, on another corner of the intersection, some competent in-fill has replaced a vacant lot.

They are all abandoned, but they are in good shape, and are not beyond saving.

And in classic South City fashion, as St. Louis sought to fill the post-war housing crunch, those little Modernist houses were built here and there. One in Tower Grove East just sold for $200,000 with a finished basement and carport on the alley.

Then there are some of those classic Dutchtown houses; solid brick homes with all sorts of intricate details even though they might be relatively small.

This house below is also another example of a classic South City house; the metal cornices, I was told by a man who once helped his father make them, were assembled during the winter, and then installed in the spring when masons went back to working laying the brick.

The porch on the house below is probably not original, but it shows how this neighborhood slowly customized each of its buildings over the last century.

The houses below might be abandoned, but they all work so well together, with their unified architectural style and rhythm along the street wall.

This alley house sits behind a building that faces Osage Street, as we get to the end of the block. It may have been a stable or even a small business owned by the homeowner.

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