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The Beauty of Dutchtown, Part 3, California Avenue Between Osage and Keokuk Streets

On California Avenue in between Osage and Keokuk streets, some detective work was needed. Why are the houses several decades newer than the red brick buildings around them in Dutchtown, and why are they subsiding so badly?

Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis reveals the answer: the houses were built on a filled-in quarry or sinkhole, and the ground was not compacted properly. It’s a problem all over the old St. Louis Commons, which is built on karst topography, though Dutchtown further south has less of a problem with this.

But it’s too bad, because I like these little one-story Arts and Crafts Style houses; they’re not typical of the style and they look efficient in their design.

Further north, their compatriots are in great shape, and are well-maintained.

I even suspect the one story houses were chosen to put less weight on the compacted soil, as past the quarry, the houses and apartment buildings switch to two stories.

They are also in great shape, and show how many people are proud of the Dutchtown neighborhood.

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