I always get a kick out of the backs of houses in St. Louis, such as these two examples in Tower Grove East; while great care was always placed on the fronts of houses, around back people let their guard down and went with the sturdiest, if not always the most attractive solutions.
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You couldn’t pay me enough money to stand on that CMU porch! Yikes!
What is CMU?
“CMU” = “Concrete Masonry Unit.”
Those structures look decades older (long post WWII) than the buildings they serve.
In fact, that porch looks like it could have been included in one of those online forwards titled “Redneck Architecture;” my favorite was a big travel trailer mounted on a cabin cruiser that had the OE top sheared – it was titled “Redneck house boat.”
While I could be wrong, many (most?) of the concrete blocks used in the ’30s had a rough-cast outside to mimic cut stone. My own modest 1936 Kirkwood brick bungalow used that type for the whole foundation. Of course, it has leaked like a sieve since nearly day one (my family has lived in this home since 1954, and a similar one two doors away since 1942).
“decades younger” “decades younger” “decades younger”
Your blog is like a tour of my St. Louis homes. First you highlight the Stertzing Building (http://stlouispatina.com/stertzing-building-southwest-avenue-maplewood/), and now…
I lived in the 2nd floor apartment of the building in your second picture for two years before moving to my current place in TGS. While it looks worse for the wear, we crowded many, many people onto that balcony on many occasions.