On St. Louis Avenue near St. Louis Place Park is what I call a double mansion: two houses built together to look like one larger, grander house. There are examples of these constructions all over America, in many different time periods, but I’m fascinated by the ones in St. Louis.
It almost seems like St. Louisans were embarrassed to admit that they lived in multi-family housing, so they carefully designed two-flats or double houses to look like a single, more expensive house. Just a theory, and obviously, on closer examination in 1890, everyone could tell these were multi-unit buildings.
Ironically, many of these houses are now actually being converted into single family houses; to get tax credits, from what I understand, owners typically leave both front doors instead of replacing them with a single door.
The house in question looks like it could be in Lafayette Square, where it would fetch over a million dollars easily. Unfortunately, it now sits empty, despite being inhabited only a few years ago. How long will it be before brick thieves take out its side walls?
Here is a great example of the floor tile that graced the front porches of many houses in the area.
The articulation of the house on its sides is truly remarkable, and worth saving. There are many well-restored houses on St. Louis Avenue, and this house could easily fit in and likewise be economical to renovate.