The Beauty of Dutchtown, Part 4, Iowa Avenue Between Chariton and Meramec Streets

Iowa Avenue between Chariton and Meramec streets has some of the best Second Empire houses in Dutchtown, but it also has some other gems as well, such as this nice two-family apartment building above, or this unique wood frame house below.

But then, welcome to the slumlords’ domain! Property ownership and leasing is one of the most difficult businesses in the world. Profit margins are razor thin, and then you’re still left with aging buildings. Trust me, I know. I serve on the board of a not-for-profit which manages around 1,500 market-rate, affordable and low-income rental units in the City of St. Louis. You have to have critical mass to make a profit. Living in California and owning a four-family in St. Louis is going to be difficult to make a profit–unless you’re a really talented landlord or a crook. Look at this crap below. Either have pride at what you do, or don’t do it at all.

The house below is a rental property, but it is well-maintained; the owner lives in Affton.

Then there are two small houses; one is vacant, and the other is occupied.

Then come the stunning Second Empire houses. First up are these two single-family examples, and one without a Mansard roof.

Someone asked me recently about the side entrances; this was to provide privacy, but it was also to save on wasted space for entry hallways; likewise, the front room would not be interrupted with a front door (though obviously not the case in these two houses below).

There is also this nice Italianate two-story house, which is one of my favorite styles of house in the city.

Then there is this magnificent Second Empire duplex, the southern half of which is apparently occupied.

The other half looks to have new windows, and there is construction material visible through the windows, but I do not know what is going on with it. The half-lunette cast iron windows are rare and worth saving.

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