Oregon Avenue Between Juniata and Wyoming Streets, Benton Park West, Fall 2020

Heading south of Juniata on Oregon towards Wyoming looking at the east side of the street, we see more of the houses that make Benton Park West such a distinctive neighborhood.

We see more of the standard red brick houses, some paired up as duplexes, and they are in good shape overall, and show the quality of their original builders.

And then, oh wow! Remember how the surface of the earth used to be rugged around here, and Oregon was graded later than other streets? Look at this Greek Revival house sitting high above the modern-day street level. It’s so old that it wasn’t even built facing the street. It could easily date to the 1860s.

If you go back and look on the Compton and Dry, you can see it sticking up out of the ground. It looks like it’s under renovation, which is great because this is a real survivor from St. Louis’s rural past.

And of course, and this area suburbanized in the 1890s, they just built apartment buildings and houses like there was nothing weird at all next door about the elevation.

The foundation and basement of the Greek Revival country house is completely above ground now.

Sadly, some of those beautiful buildings have been damaged by fire and are abandoned.

But the good news is that others are under renovation, dumpsters out front.

Wyoming Street is dominant unlike Juniata or Crittenden, and has houses facing it, so as we approach it, there is an alley that serves its buildings, and we see the side elevations of apartments.

Turning around at Wyoming and heading north to look at the west side of Oregon, we see another one of the corner stores that served the community, but now are redundant due to the prevalence of supermarkets and discount retailers.

There are some spectacular buildings, such as the one below. It must have surely been a two-family originally, as there are multiple doors and it’s too big for one family.

Then the density changes, and the houses are different styles with some Arts and Crafts bungalows and apartment buildings thrown in.

Note the Italianate house sitting high up on the hill below; it was built before street grading.

The house on the left was probably originally in the Italianate style but had its front faade renovated in the early Twentieth Century.

This massive building below is clearly a multi-family that probably has some units in the back. I like how the central window on the second floor has been split in two.

I’ve actually photographed this house in the pictures above and below before (second photo); I’ve become interested in this housing style for its simple geometric forms and its classical influences. We generally call it Greek Revival.

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