Vulcan Street, Carondelet

Update: The street has not been doing well. See its deterioration in July of 2017 and 2018, and August of 2020.

The historic fabric of St. Louis is slipping away east of Broadway, both up north, and down south in Carondelet, where some of the oldest surviving housing stock in St. Louis resides.

What is most interesting is the juxtaposition of brick and older stone buildings, usually one story with a sloped roof.

The house above appears to be a central hall house, but the Sanborn maps (see below) show it as two separate, two story buildings.

The stonework of these two houses would cost a fortune nowadays, but at the time it was a durable, efficient means of constructions. I suspect many of them were here during the Civil War.

The house above, which features living quarters both upstairs and in the basement, reminds me of houses on the Hill.

People still live down here in these old, old houses, but I’m worried about the future; surely only tenacity is keeping people here, as the area is largely abandoned and deteriorating.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenn, South City says:

    Hi Chris,
    The two story house has a dashed line on the Sanborn map, but only one address. I admit that I’m not experienced at reading the maps but, perhaps it was a split family or a boarding house of some kind? The way it was added onto the older structures makes me think it could have been someone’s income property. The population density on the waterfront was pretty high back in the day. Your thoughts?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      That is a good theory, Jenn.

  2. Tom Maher - Kirkwood says:

    Those two white stone houses are on the National Registry of Historic Places- see:

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Oh, that is the Steins House? He was a critical member of Carondelet’s history, if I remember correctly. I always find it funny that “stein” means “stone” in German, and the house is of course made of stone.

      1. Jenny Roques says:

        These are not the Steins Houses. They are on the other side of Broadway, except for Jacobs home itself. These are the Zeiss Houses. Constructed around the 1850’s, and the brick one before 1870. There are other hidden treasure in this neighborhood as well!

        1. Chris Naffziger says:

          Thanks, Jenny!

  3. Jenn, South City says:

    Ah! So it is one conjoined property! Or, at least at one time it was. I love that the document included photos as well as a brief history of the family. It shows how much or how little the buildings have changed over time.

    How did you find this Tom? Don’t tell me you just Googled it!

  4. Tom Maher - Kirkwood says:

    Jenn – I recalled someone talking about this on the Underground Ozarks site a few months ago and then did some digging – see page 10 of the PDF
    They are actually called the “Zeiss Houses.”

  5. Meredith says:

    Have you checked out the Carlin-Rathgeber home on Davis St? It’s one of my favorites in the Carondelet/Patch area. Dates from 1848.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      No, I need to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

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