Update: The Bissell Mansion Dinner Theater closed during the pandemic and the house was later sold.
The Lewis Bissell Mansion is supposedly the oldest standing house in the city of St. Louis, built between 1823 and 1828. Rather interestingly, they’ve recently painted the house red, after being white for years. Not even any of the on-line photographs reflect this change yet. Honestly, I had thought the mystery theater had gone out of business several years ago when I had driven by and saw that the grass was about two feet tall. But they’re still in business, in perhaps one of the more random locations in St. Louis. Bissell apparently owned 1,500 acres in the area, and much of his former land makes up the Bissell’s Point water treatment facility. The interstate cutting by below the house certainly ruins the feeling of being back in the early Nineteenth Century.
But this stretch of Randall Place, before 1934 known as 14th Street, has some other interesting surprises. Supposedly it was once a wealthy area, and the housing at least partially shows that. Its high elevation (the nearby standpipes point to this) surely made the area desirable.
But demolition has come to the area, even though most houses are still standing. The almost rugged, hilly terrain is still preserved, though.
I love these little wood houses, sitting far back on their lot to provide for a large garden in the front.
Large houses sit around the corner on Blair, in the shadow of the Bissell Water Tower.