Streets of St. Charles

I was out visiting a friend two Saturdays ago, and I was intrigued by the “new urbanism” development of the Streets of St. Charles. It’s becoming increasingly common for wealthier suburbs of major cities to build these mixed-use developments, where there are ground floor restaurants and stores below apartments or condos. There’s usually a hotel…

Frenchtown, St. Charles

North Second Street in St. Charles goes through an interesting neighborhood named Frenchtown, not to be confused with the area of the same name in St. Louis just south of downtown. This area was developed after the original French settlement, and there is some really great architecture. St. Charles wants the area to attract young…

Fifth Street and Environs, St. Charles

The Roman Catholic Church of St. Charles Borromeo dominates the northeastern part of town away from St. Charles’s downtown. There are more beautiful examples of Second Empire and Italianate houses and apartment buildings lining Fifth Street, which is wider through here and a main artery. There are also what I might call proto-Romanesque Revival cottages.

Jefferson Avenue, St. Charles

The architecture of St. Charles is interesting, because it follows the same styles as St. Louis, but yet expresses them in a different way, more akin to small towns. For starters, the lots are not long and skinny like the vast majority in St. Louis so the houses in St. Charles are more rectangular on…

Second Street Houses, St. Charles

Up above Main Street, on Second Street, are these wonderful Italianate cottages that look to be from the mid Nineteenth Century. Sometimes I get a little tired of all the flat roofs in St. Louis, and it’s fun to see these houses for a change of pace.

Queen Anne House, St. Charles

Moving up the hill, there is a row of houses that is anchored with a brick Queen Anne style house. With its complicated roof structure and fenestration on a hilly lot, it strikes quite the pose. It’s fascinating how in smaller towns like this, you can watch the passage of time and housing styles block…

Side Streets, St. Charles

The diversity of housing stock in the back streets of St. Charles’s historic inner neighborhoods is impressive, from the Second Empire house above, to the humble worker’s cottage below. Interestingly, much like in St. Louis, these houses are sometimes what we now call duplexes, allowing for larger side yards. Later houses, such as the one…

Small Modernist Office Building, St. Charles

Up the hill from the famous Main Street shopping district, there are still a wealth of interesting buildings, such as the Mid-Century Modern office building by St. Joseph’s Hospital. Of particular interest is the use of decorative brick on two sides of the building. It now functions as a chiropractor’s office.

Chapel, St. Joseph’s Hospital

The giant curved wall which projects out from the facade of the hospital holds the chapel. Inside, the exterior brick continues around the chapel, and a unique, projecting skylight provides natural illumination for the altar. Minimal fenestration provides light from the side through stained glass. Below, two large medallions flank the entrance to the chapel….

St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Charles

St. Joseph’s Hospital has been around since the Nineteenth Century, but what often happens is that the original buildings are torn down and replaced in the mid-Twentieth Century. Such is this case at this hospital, which is an interesting mix of different parts, built over the last couple of decades. A chapel which is behind…