The Beauty of Dutchtown, Part 44: Virginia Avenue Between Taft and Osceola

This section of Virginia Avenue is one of the first I looked at, way back in February of 2011, when I was seeking out the Stork Inn, which I revisited again in May of 2014. I was saddened to see the two story house on the left on Idaho Avenue, which comes in at sharp angle, was damaged by fire. It looked like it had been rehabbed with a nice new door back in 2011. I don’t know what happened.

There’s a nice mix of houses, split between one story houses, two story houses, and apartment buildings, all looking like they were built in the decade after 1900.

What is also interesting is how the storefront on the right below is clearly built to match the house on the right above. It looks like it was damaged by fire, as well.

There are also some idiosyncratic houses, such as the next two seen below.

It’s always fascinating to see how some buildings are tilted to match the angle of Virginia Avenue’s relation to the street grid, and then others are not.

Then there’s a row of small bungalows, which have been altered over the years.

Storefronts then anchor or even serve as punctuation marks at intersections.

Update: Sadly, sometime before October of 2022, the house below was damaged by fire or neglect. It is now in ruins.

Turning around at Osceola and heading back south, looking at the east side of the street, we see a small Greek Revival house, sitting on a large plat of land. It was probably one of the first houses built in the area.

Then at the corner of Virginia and North Dakota Street (there is no South Dakota Street, but there is Dakota Street one block south), there is this massive Second Empire duplex, which looking at satellite images, has roofs in two different states of repair.

They now sit abandoned together, with their windows missing. This is the late Second Empire, where terracotta cornices have replaced wood ornament mass-produced in planing mills.

Then there are more traditional Dutchtown houses, of various sizes and heights.

Then there is DeNeal’s Drug Store. It’s been stripped of all that amazing chrome and stainless steel, but if you go by, you’ll notice the door handle was left behind. Where did the rest go? I’d love to know.

George A. Deneal Drugs, 4500 Virginia, Photograph by W.C. Persons, September 28, 1940, Missouri History Museum, N41017

More beautiful storefronts follow, both big and small.

Then the street wall returns to houses, that undulate and march down Virginia Avenue.

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