Indiana Avenue Between Lynch and Pestalozzi, West Side

Detail of Plate 36, Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis, 1876, Library of Congress.

Turning around at Pestalozzi and heading north, we see that originally the west side of Indiana Avenue was fully built up like the east side, if not as densely. It’s also interesting to see that already in 1876, towards the north end of the block, a substantial portion of a hill had to be cut away for the right-of-way of the street. As property taxes and levies show, the City of St. Louis actually charged adjacent property owners for street grading, so many streets remained unimproved for decades after surrounding lots were improved and built on. Interestingly, before street uniformity measures in the late Nineteenth Century, this section of Indiana was originally known as Adele Street.

There has also been substantial demolition, leaving vacant lots that are just now being in-filled with contemporary housing.

This vacant lot was filled below with this one-story house, which apparently is a single-family residence.

I’ve looked at this little house before, and I suspect it is easily one of the first buildings constructed in the addition.

The building below is probably from the 1890s.

Then this house, which has had its limestone details painted blue since the last time I saw it, illustrates the hill that was cut away for the street below.

And then there’s this house finally, which I first suspected was built before street grading, revealing the basement exposed, but Pictorial St. Louis shows that is not true. It was clearly built after, and for whatever reason the builders left a squat basement and built the first or main floor at the original grade above. It is truly a fascinating choice.

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