Homes in St Louis… beginning my collection
We have made our home in St Louis for a few weeks now … and we like it! There is definitely no shortage of architectural charm and character in this grand old city. It’s a really good thing I like brick though, because historic St Louis is all about brick.
I did a little historical research and found that several factors led to the predominance of red brick in St. Louis. First and foremost was the ready availability: St. Louis was underlain by dozens of large clay deposits. As a result several St. Louis neighborhoods such as Dogtown and the Hill were shaped by immigrant groups who moved there to work the clay mines.
By 1839, the brickyards of St. Louis were turning out more than 20 million bricks a year.
In the 19th century wood frame buildings were common and certainly local builders would have wanted to cut costs and avoid masonry construction in a working class area. An event occurred however which steered the city toward a even greater use of brick.
In 1849, the steamboat White Cloud caught fire and drifted onto the riverfront wharves. A third of the city was destroyed in the subsequent blaze and a hurriedly-passed local ordinance forbade the construction of wooden buildings.
Please enjoy some of the finest brick in St Louis! Here is a selection of portraits from my greater St. Louis series . . . with many more to come!
Until my next St Louis update!