Monday, November 29, 2010

Ma maison! Before and after.

Stumbled across an old page on with a bunch of pictures of Soulard's housing stock. Actually, the neighborhood association sent the information.

Most of the pictures were taken in the late 1960's/early 1970's. They are awesome. Let me know if you want the link.

Brief house history: built by a German named John Puff in 1886. He was a commodities guy and brokered the grain and hops supplies to the local breweries. Door on the side was a business entrance. It's a weird house because it's a central hall plan but the house, while it looks enormous, is only 2 rooms deep. Turns out this house was built on the back of the lot on Sidney street, perhaps illegally.

House went to Puff's daughter Christina Fath and her husband Conrad in the late 1890's when John died suddenly in California. They were all German Evangelical Lutherans and went to St. Marcus Church. I think that particular branch was absorbed by the UCC.

House was owned by some German Catholics through the 1930's but then was converted to a boarding house. It remained a boarding house (like when this pic was taken) until 2001 and was a popular place for the just-released-from-prison set.

I'm surprised by:
  • lack of vegetation , street trees, etc.
  • the house looks better than I thought it would have
  • what's with the side entrance portico?
  • thing you cannot see: the gutters were lined with asphalt and I now have major leaky and screwed up gutters.
  • partial white picket fence? My neighbor to the south had some too until last year.
  • Most of the features- chandeliers, mantles, etc.- were left intact and lovingly restored.
The whole set of pictures is fascinating. I'll try to post occasional pictures. I am starting with the best picture first.

And, don't think because I have posted a picture of my house you can come axe murder me. I have dogs, alarms and a 6'5" husband.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What up shortie?

A pair of oddballs on 18th Street in Benton Park. Mini-mansard Permastone craziness to the right, and an infill (?) to the left. I hate that red mulch and the overgrown yew shrubs in front of the mansard. The little place to the left is kinda cute.

Trivia: Name a street found in Benton Park, Soulard and Lafayette Square. Answer: 18th Street.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Philadelphia double-decker mansard

I have to admit: I was close to running out of mansard material. I scrounged through my iphoto library for a mansard I may have forgotten to post. I said a little prayer to the patron saint of bad mansards (just kidding, although I would assume would be the patron saint of architecture, St. Barbara or St. Thomas the Apostle).

A day or two later, reader Paul sent me some flickr photos for some bad mansards. Thanks Paul! This is a view of Philadelphia's historic Broad Street.

A 3 story building, 2 stories of which is all crazy mansard roof. Is it old? New? Infill? A bad facade? I'm going with bad facade over a historic building. The windows level up perfectly with the building to the right. It would appear the shell exterior scales down the original size of the windows. That never looks good. Reminds me of this building in Soulard: click here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Please don't do this

Marine Villa, I think. I'm running out of mansard pictures and found this in iphoto.

Could have been a peach of a place but it's been ruined by Permastone and bad replacement vinyl windows on top. At least, I think that's Permastone. I'm going to feel really bad if that's not Permastone and instead an 19th century attempt at a Richardsonian 2nd Empire Mansard.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sacred Heart in St. Charles: where an American saint meets a bad mansard

These are photographs of two buildings on the Sacred Heart campus in St. Charles, Missouri. One is the historic mansard on campus, probably built in the 1880's. The other is a bad mansard meant to echo the stylings of the first.

St. Charles is now a ex-burb of St. Louis but 200 years ago it was a town up the Missouri river, the last outpost before Lewis and Clark hit the trail. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne founded this school in 1818 and it would be the first of many Sacred Heart Schools in America. St. Rose is our hometown girl saint; she started off in France but left after the French Revolution to help out our hometown boys, the Jesuits. I cannot do her story justice, so click here to read more about her incredible story.

I am sure a lot of important people have gone to Sacr
ed Heart, but the one who stands out in my mind is Project Runway Season 2 finalist Santino Rice, Sacred Heart alum.

Thanks to a mom of a brownie in our troop for getting the pictures to me. I love our brownie troop for so many reasons- the girls are cute, curious and smart. Their moms are awesome too and send me bad mansards.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oktoberfest mansard. What? October is over?

Here's a nice mansard in Hermann, the Gasthaus. If I hadn't been slowed down by two of my kids' weeklong birthday celebrations**, 4 soccer games per week and an out-of-town husband, I would have posted a picture of an Oktoberfest hotspot in October.

You know what else slowed me down in October: Oktoberfest, Halloween and the beverages that go with them.

Loved Soulard Oktoberfest in Lyon Park. We went on Friday at 6. Perfect timing because we went right in, got beer, sat down, danced, went home by 10. I really like Chikeria (from Munich). They're kind of like a German ska band. And they start every song with, "this song, it is a very special song..."

And Halloween. My husband's employer had a private concert with Tone Loc (Funky Cold Medina) and Digital Underground (Humpty Dance!!!). Excellent times. For a costume, I dressed as Blair from the Facts of Life.

Back to the mansard. Who loves wrought iron cresting? Me.

**does that sound like I spoil my kids with The Week of Gus or the Week of Kay? You know how it goes- family party, party with friends, bring treats to school. Takes up the whole week.