This is most evident in the beautiful architecture that is as distinct as each neighborhood you find it in. I’m always fascinated by the history of St. Louis and how the buildings and homes in the various neighborhoods are a reflection of different eras and architectural styles. These are my favorite historic St. Louis buildings that you should check out.
The Frank Lloyd Wright House
Frank Lloyd Wright is considered to be the greatest architect of the 20th century. While he has designed multiple buildings in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and others, he designed only five buildings in the state of Missouri, the first of which was built in St. Louis. Wright built this 1,900 square foot home in Kirkwood between the years of 1952 and 1960 on a 10.5-acre property. Quite possibly the most notable thing about this house is its architectural integrity, along with the fact that it still maintains all of its original furnishings and fabrics that were also designed by Wright himself.
Cass Gilbert Central Library
In the beginning of the 1900’s, a competition was held between seven architectural firms to design a new library. Cass Gilbert, who designed several other famous buildings such as the St. Louis Art Museum, the Supreme Court building and the Woolworth Building, was chosen the victor. The library, built between the years of 1907 and 1912, is constructed in a classic style, with symmetrical granite facades. The main entrance resembles a grand pavilion that is approached by wide granite steps.There are several reading rooms, a reference room, and rooms for special collections. At the center of the library sits a two story book delivery room, which was one of the features that helped Gilbert win the competition. This historic St. Louis building is considered to be one of his most creative, and also one of his favorites.
Located on the St. Louis University campus in University City, the Cupples House was built between the years of 1888 and 1890. This castle-like mansion is a rare construction, being of a Richardsonian Romanesque design, complete with fortress-like towers and gargoyles made from limestone. This design is similar to the 11th and 12th century architecture of Spain and France. The university bought the mansion in 1946 and it was restored in 1973, revealing its original wallpaper and many of its original furnishings. Now it serves as an art museum, housing the university’s collection of fine and decorative art from before 1919.
White Haven (Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site)
White Haven, the childhood home of former president Grant’s wife Julia, is located in Grantwood. While Grant served in the military, he was stationed just outside of St. Louis, but he frequented White Haven, talking politics with Julia’s father before he even met her. When she came home from boarding school, he began visiting her, and eventually they married. They moved several times (visiting often), and they did live in White Haven for a few years (1854 to 1859). They even planned on making White Haven their retirement home, as it often served as a place of rest and relaxation. The house is now a museum that offers a unique look at Grant, his family and the inhabitants of White Haven. It also gives visitors a chance to experience 19th century country life.
Basilica of St. Louis
Also called the Old Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Louis in the Central West End is one of the most historic buildings in St. Louis. Construction began in 1764, when the area’s founders dedicated land for religious purposes. The current Basilica is actually the fourth structure built, and boasts Greek Revival architecture, and it is the oldest building in the city. It is also the only building that is still in the hands of the original owners, in this case the Archdiocese.
St. Louis’ rich history makes it a place I’m proud to call home. Are you ready to call it yours? Contact me today to find out how you can find your own place in one of St. Louis’ many historic neighborhoods.