While Grand Center and the surrounding neighborhoods are now well-known respectively for being the theater district of St. Louis and acres of parking lots and desolation, the area first saw life as a wealthy residential section of the city. While photographs commemorate the 1880-1900 housing stock of the area, very little of it remains, replaced by newer historic houses, skyscrapers and theaters.
But if you look closely, there are survivors of that earlier, more tranquil era of the neighborhood. On nearby Belle Place, a couple of houses scattered amongst later houses and vacant lots remind still stand.
This amazing Italianate country house sticks out on its block, several decades older than the surrounding building stock, and out of fashion by the Twentieth Century.
Nearby, a stately house with a Mansard roof represents the Second Empire history of the neighborhood. Interestingly, its newer neighbors have not survived.
Looking at the Sanborn Map for the street, it looks like there were probably numerous other Italianate and Second Empire houses on the block; the newer houses are four-squares but the map shows slender houses, more reminiscent of the older architectural styles.
If you look closely, you can see these first houses built on these streets all over the area west and east of Grand.