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.


  1. So, are your cornices the type which incorporate the gutters, or are your gutters separate from them? The office addition looks to have them mounted above the brick cornice. Either way I would suggest Hopmann Cornice to do that work. At least forming the gutters. They worked on my cornice and I really cannot say enough good about them. Thanks for the post.

  2. ps: I think I've said so before, but I really love your house. I quite like the Italianate style. But then again, I like the little single story, "shaped parapet single family" that my wife and I own. If it's brick in this town, I probably like it.

  3. Bridgett, don't do it because I know where you live =)

    Samizdat, thank you so much for the cornice name. I need some major repair work on the NE corner of the front cornice. The gutters in the front stick out and look like big pans. The gutters on the other 3 sides of the house are inlaid in the brick. Those cause the most trouble because it's so hard to trace leaks. It seems like as soon as we plug a leak the water finds another place to cause trouble.

  4. The last line cracked me up because we just got an email at work telling us we're endangering national security if we don't turn off all locating type programs on social networks.