Back before sprawl came to southwestern St. Louis County, a great-aunt of a reader of this site snapped these photos of Alswel, one of several Lemp mansions, in what was probably the 1960’s.
Photographs taken by Cora Steyermark, courtesy of Lura Holt.
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What a beautiful mansion, I feel like I’m in Bavaria! I am assuming that since you couldn’t photograph it, that the building has been razed?
It’s safe and sound, and behind a manned security gate, unfortunately.
It’s still there – insert 38.505874,-90.404343 into Bing Maps, execute a Birdseye view and rotate.
That and the Cragwold mansion past homes of the Lemp family still stand and are both occupied.
If you park outside of the gate there is a walking path that allows you to walk up to the house. Both homes over look the meramec river.
Just found this post years later. When I was a teen we knew this house as Chinaman’s castle. It wasn’t until I was much older that I found out that this was William Lemp’s Alswel.
We used to go there at night to party and supposedly if you got close to the house someone would come out with a shotgun and shoot at you. It was a teenage thrill to go there dumb as it was. I remember the small road that would go up to the hill to the back of the house and a stone carriage house at the top in back of the house. I also remember the large grounds on the bottoms near the river where it looks like they used to farm. I knew it was someplace special but it wasn’t decades later I would learn the signifigence of the house and grounds..I would love to see the inside of the mansion.
I recall touring this house around 1968 with my mother and a friend of hers. As I recall a lady lived there by herself, or perhaps she was just there to give privately arranged tours. She may have run an antique business there. I remember a large white marble bathroom with a round shower stall that was lined with pipes, maybe copper or brass. I’m sure my memory is imperfect, but I recall that they were in horizontal rows about every 18.” I also recall the floors porches on all sides of the house were all square terra-cotta tiles. Views of the Meramec were expansive. I understand it is privately owned today. I am just glad someone is taking care of it.
You’re right Julie, I was in there in the mid 60’s with my Mom and there was an antique store in the house. I wish I could remember more but I was maybe 7.