South Eighteenth Street, Adam Lemp’s Addition

Detail of Plate 29, showing Lux Street, Now S. 18th St. Compton and Dry, Pictorial St. Louis, 1876.

South Eighteenth Street between Utah and Cherokee streets, is an historical and important block in the story of the Lemps. Adam Lemp originally owned all of the land on either side of the street, which was originally Lux Street, and then Second Carondelet for a little while (that street name is more famous for being the first name of what is now DeMenil Place). In 1855, he partitioned his property in what was Adam Lemp’s Addition, recorded in Book 3, Page 136 in the Recorder of Deeds office of what was then St. Louis County. The house below has an interesting story, because its side lot was originally owned by Louise Bauer Lemp, Adam’s third wife and widow, where she owned an investment property. It’s now demolished. We’ll head north first, looking at the west side of the street from Cherokee.

Moving north, there are some nice solid houses, including Second Empire houses.

Including this nice little mid-Twentieth Century in-fill house. By the way, look carefully at the house behind it to the right. Note the roofline; I believe you can see it in its original form in the Compton and Dry plate from 1876.

But as you can see below, probably in the 1880s, the owner updated the the duplex to a more modern Second Empire style, also increasing leasable space on the third floor by adding a Mansard roof.

Next are two incredibly historic houses, which I know can be seen in Pictorial St. Louis. Go back and look carefully; you can see these two Greek Revival bungalows that were built very soon after the 1855 auction, probably in the 1860s.

I would love to see them both fixed up. Germans typically would build their houses deep on their lots (they didn’t have to worry about the City’s giant trash trucks lumbering down the allies early in the morning back then), thus leaving uninterrupted yards for vegetable gardens.

Later denser, urban Greek Revival houses built right on the street wall were built, showing how the neighborhood was filling as the Lemp Brewery expanded in the 1870s.

I’ve really come to love those houses, and their simple, classical proportions, whether as 1.5 or 2.5 stories. Then finally, as reach the corner of Utah, there is a later 1890s or 1900 four-family flat where ornamentation has become more severe, abandoning the millwork of the Second Empire.

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