Similar South Side Deco

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Oak Hill & Potomac
South St. Louis City

It was with great happiness that I read this post on St. Louis Investment about the building shown above.  In short, this 12-unit apartment building, built in 1939, is currently being renovated into 6 units.

When I took these pictures of the place in Spring 2007, two men who said they were the newest owners of the building chatted with me about their plans, pending final analysis from their building inspector. They were hoping it was in better shape than it looked. Guess it wasn’t…and so it continued to sit vacant and exposed to the elements.

But not any longer, which is a huge relief.  I’ve always liked this building because it comprises 1/3 of what I mentally refer to as the Blonde Deco Trio.

Chippewa & Gustine
South St. Louis City

Here’s another member of the clan, a few miles away in Dutchtown. It’s the oldest of the trio, going up in 1937.

And like the previous one, it is 3 stories tall with 12 apartments, same two-toned brick and wrap-around corner windows…

…and the entrances get a grand vertical treatment, highlighted by glass block.  This is my favorite of the three because its burnt sienna brick detailing is plentiful, yet so compact and precise.

Wilmington & Marwinette
South St. Louis City

The youngest of the 3 is from 1941, and resides in the Holly Hills neighborhood.

Of the 3, it’s the least exuberant, almost as if the builder was coming to a natural conclusion on the repetition of this model. Or maybe they’d exhausted their supply of burnt sienna bricks?

It is in the best shape of the trio, and even works nicely with a bit of porch flourish added to both of the entrances (though that colonial eagle has got to go).

So, both of these occupied Blonde Decos serve as excellent role models for the Oak Hill renovation, and it will be pleasure to have the triumvirate alive and well.

Are there other models of this building lurking about St. Louis? If so, please do let me know where they are.

4 thoughts on “Similar South Side Deco

  1. #1 has an identical twin just a block east and a block south, at Roger & Oleatha. Unlike #1, it wasn’t vacant last time I saw it.

  2. yay! i live down the hill over a street on fairview, and can see this building towering over the neighborhood like a 1930s superhero (or villan) from my back yard.

    wayyyy off subject question ( and i doubt you know what in the world im talking about). somewhere in the st. louis blogospheroid/photoverse, someone visited and photo’d a mid century development with one of those strange/wonderful half strip mall half traditional downtown hybrids (more strip mall maybe) in mid/south florida – i’ll be in miami next week and i was wanting to visit it but cant remember what this development was called or where it was…anywa…

  3. I used to live a few blocks from the building at Chippewa and Gustine and loved driving past it during the summer. There were always lots of people going in and out of the building, several apartments would have their windows open and dudes would be leaning out them, drinking a beer while they people-watched. It’s just a great building.

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