Stertzing Building, Southwest Avenue, Maplewood

Ellendale and Maplewood 053

I spotted this other fascinating storefront along Manchester Avenue; its use of glazed brick seems to modern, but I suspect that it is original to the building. Giant shade trees block the view of the building, but I’m glad they’re there.

Ellendale and Maplewood 055

The bronze or perhaps cast iron elements had a unique touch to this building; I have never seen anything like them in St. Louis.

Ellendale and Maplewood 057 Ellendale and Maplewood 054 Ellendale and Maplewood 056

7 Comments Add yours

  1. samizdat says:

    It was probably built in the era shortly after the World’s Fair. My house, and the other five identical single-stories in this row, were built in 1912, and they have white glazed brick below the limestone skirting under the front windows, and on the interior and exterior of the porch. A very large number of structures from this era were built with glazed brick, including the old stack space at the Central Library, also built in 1912. Six (or is it seven?) stories of white glazed brick walls, all four sides. (Check out the “new” Central, it is effing amazing). Some of the other colors I’ve seen: brown, green, red, yellow, blue, and some multi-colored, mixing the aforementioned colors with white.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Yes, Bill Streeter suggested that there was an overabundance of white glazed brick during this period, so people began experimenting with putting it on their houses. BTW, who are you? You leave thoughtful and insightful comments all over St. Louis blogs, but I have no idea who you are.

      1. samizdat says:

        I’m just this guy, you know?

        I’m wondering if all of the glazed brick may be a result of the move towards more sanitary methods of food production during the era after the turn of the century, and its abundance in housing was simply a combination of overproduction and marketing. Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, detailing the lives and working conditions of the working poor, was published in 1906, but was probably preceded by a number of years of the “muckraking” journalism for which he was known. (ie, he pissed off the robber barons and the wealthy in general) The Progressive Movement also was responsible in this era for the trend towards cleanliness and better working and living conditions for workers. Which, ironically, may have contributed to the idea that “slum clearance” was a necessity if those conditions were ever to improve.

  2. Will says:

    I lived in the apartment above what is now Water Street for two years during and after college. It’s such an oddball building–the layout is really strange. In addition to the two storefronts, there are two apartments on the top floor, and at least one apartment on a sort of mezzanine level facing the parking lot to the south. We never could figure out where the connection to that third apartment was.

    I believe the glazed brick is original. Tons of it was chipping away the whole time we lived there.

    If it had laundry hookups, I’d move back into that place in a heartbeat.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Interesting, thanks for sharing.

  3. Tom Maher - Kirkwood says:

    Story on the family and a few pix:
    More here (page 7), along with fascinating little vignettes of other old Maplewood buildings, some of which you’ve already featured:

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Very cool, thanks, Tom.

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