The Beauty of Dutchtown, 53: South Broadway Between Chippewa and Keokuk Streets, West Side

Detail of Plate 31, Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis, 1876, Library of Congress

The Beauty of Dutchtown Series left off with No. 52 and continues with No. 54.

The crossroads of South Jefferson Avenue, South Broadway (originally Carondelet Road) and Chippewa Street creates one of the more interesting intersections in St. Louis. It’s where the traffic from downtown passed by the suburbs of South St. Louis on its way to the heavy industrial suburb of Carondelet. Some of the houses depicted in Compton and Dry’s 1876 Pictorial St. Louis are still standing or have been altered. Let’s take a look. After the former Chippewa Trust Bank is this first cluster.

While none appear in 1876, the Second Empire house was probably built shortly thereafter, and then its white neighbor right afterwards. Both have been heavily modified with different fenestration and the addition of storefront windows. The hardware store looks to be from the early Twentieth Century. There is a church in Pictorial St. Louis labeled St. Luke’s; I do not know what happened to that congregation.

And then come the often-forgotten gems: two Greek Revival houses, both of which appear clearly in the middle of the row in Pictorial St. Louis.

The first house, with a hipped roof has two pilasters framing the front fa?ade and a side entrance, which originally was fairly rare in St. Louis but eventually became very popular in city homes.

The second house is typical of many German workers’ houses with a gabled roof with one dormer, though it’s interesting that this one is three bays wide. Many are built as duplexes.

Then there’s this immaculately restored Second Empire house with what seems to have much of its original millwork and decorative ironwork preserved.

Around this space below there was a large Greek Revival country house, which was demolished sometime in the Twentieth Century. But what is amazing, as can be seen in this photograph from 1931 by Isaac Sievers, it survived well into the 1900s. Like many houses, a storefront was built out front, and the residence was probably cut up into a boarding house.

? Isaac Sievers, View of Schenberg’s, 3853 South Broadway, and Kroger Grocery and Bakery, 3581 South Broadway, January 1931, Missouri History Museum, P0403-04750-02-8n

It’s gone now, as well as the early Twentieth Century Kroger’s with the tile roof, replaced with this rather undistinguished looking building from probably the 1940s or 50s.

It’s a fascinating look into how the South Side developed from a Nineteenth Century suburban area into a dense urban area.

? Isaac Sievers, Exterior night view of Kroger Grocery and Baking Company, 3581 South Broadway, January 1931. Missouri History, Museum, P0403-04750-01-8n

Next door was Schenberg’s which presumably expanded the large covered porch out onto the sidewalk. Such roofs were once incredibly common in St. Louis, but this one is a rare survivor.

? Isaac Sievers, View of Schenberg’s, 3853 South Broadway, and Kroger Grocery and Bakery, 3581 South Broadway, January 1931, Missouri History Museum,,P0403-04750-04-8n

As can be seen, workers hauled all that merchandise out every morning and then back again every evening! The Schenberg family makes the claim of starting the first grocery store chain in St. Louis in 1914. I’m sure some readers might remember their stores.

? Isaac Sievers, View of Schenberg’s, 3853 South Broadway, and Kroger Grocery and Bakery, 3581 South Broadway, January 1931, Missouri History Museum, P0403-04750-02-8n

The house on the far left (which clearly has an early Twentieth Century front), which clearly appears in Pictorial St. Louis?still exists. There was one more house on the south before the intersection with Keokuk. The one story wing was added at the same time to create a grocery store.

It’s a great example, seen often on Cherokee and Chippewa streets, of a former residential structure converted to commercial use. The Italianate style house on the far left in the photograph below has been demolished, and you can see the vacant lot there today.

? Isaac Sievers, Schenberg Market stores at 3853 South Broadway and at 3227 Meramec, January 1931, Missouri History Museum, P0403-06994-01-8n

One thing I can’t figure out it is the one-and-a-half store house on the far right above. It has clearly been demolished but I haven’t found evidence for it otherwise than in this photograph.

Back to the two-story house on the end. Around on the side, you can clearly see how there was a porch that would have “completed” the gable of the house, which again was very common in antebellum houses in St. Louis.

You can even see the holes from the ceiling joists of the second story gallery of the porch as well as the arches of the windows and doorways on the backside.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. John S says:

    [One thing I canít figure out it is the one-and-a-half store house on the far right above. It has clearly been demolished but I havenít found evidence for it otherwise than in this photograph.]
    -If I’m not mistaken, I think that may be the 2.5 story Greek Revival country house from an awkward perspective? If you zoom in on the first old photo of the market, you can see the bracket under the eave hits the same spot on the 2nd floor window arch. The shutters appear to be missing in one photo, and there’s an apparatus (looks like a lightning rod) at the roof gable peak that’s missing in the other.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Yes, I think you’re right!

  2. John S says:

    Also, great work with this series, Chris! I have always been enamored with this block, and its disjointed array of beautiful buildings. So rare to see a covered sidewalk preserved here in STL, as you pointed out, unlike New Orleans where they’re still pretty common.

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