Update: The house above lost its porches sometime in the year or so after this photograph was taken. On March 19, 2023, the house was gutted by fire, during which a dog tragically lost its life.
I’m tired of Dutchtown only being in the news for the wrong reasons, though I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t have problems–it does. But on a recent Saturday morning, the sun was shining, the weather was cool, and people were coming out of their houses, and I photographed the beautiful architecture of the huge neighborhood that makes this area one of the most critical parts of St. Louis. If we do not work to keep Dutchtown stable, with its almost completely intact building stock, all of the South Side will suffer. There are so many wonderful people working hard in this neighborhood to make it a better place.
It is also an incredibly historically rich neighborhood, going back far into the early Nineteenth Century. Much of it is cut off to the “left side” of Compton and Dry, but we can still see that what is now the official neighborhood of Dutchtown, south of Chippewa, already possessed extensive exurban development in what were the southern St. Louis Common Fields. Take the house above,on Ohio Avenue, still on a huge parcel of land; it is old, and I suspect it dates back to the 1870s, if not earlier. It is just one example of the history and architectural variety that exists in Dutchtown. Over the next week or so, we’ll begin to look at this amazing neighborhood.
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It appears that the house in the first photo is missing a column on the end of the lower porch causing the upper porch to sag. Does the city issue notices for fines to the owner if the necessary repairs are not made anymore? I realize not everyone has the means / funds to make house repairs, but we can’t let the neighborhood wither away either.
Building code violation citations are largely complaint driven. If a neighbor or other citizen does not report a violation, in general, a homeowner is not cited. The City’s building inspectors positions have a high turnover rate and are frequently understaffed or unfilled.