Twice a year, the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, MO puts on one hell of a house and garden tour. Or at least I can tell you how special this one was. I was originally going to be a vendor in the antiques market, but I had a few issues getting some things together for a booth in time. Being unemployed didn’t help, but I am now re-employed, and that’s for a different blog. So I decided to sign up for the tour instead. I needed to do some research on the area for the third book of the Society Trilogy, “Lafayette to London”. And I can’t tell you how glad I went, despite oversleeping and a couple hours of rain. I also ran into an author that was working on a history of the neighborhood. Can’t wait for that book to come out!
A quick couple general notes: I have to say it was incredibly well organized. There were signs on the street, a good website, and social media publicity. Visitors checked-in at a welcome tent at Lafayette Park and received a wrist band that allowed easy access to the tour. I was given a very well designed brochure of the tour and the weekend’s events. There was a trolley, a raffle, food trucks, plein air painters, and vintage baseball! This piece of info was priceless, as it contained a complete detailed listing of the homes and gardens along with fantastic descriptions and an excellent map. They also offered free water, as it was very hot and humid (more on that later).
Lafayette Park, at the center of the neighborhood, was open, the stl250.org Cakeway to the West cake sculpture was available for pictures under a canopy. There was a fantastic antique market that surrounded the park as well. The event was spread over two days, but I attended the Saturday.
So I got a late start after I didn’t set my alarm correctly. There was also good chance for storms, but the events went on rain or shine. And away I went.
I’ve been to the park before, even had some great steampunk shots done there by John Moore. But today was different, even better than previous visits. The enthusiasm of the volunteers, staff and vendors was infectious. After checking in, I hurried past several vendors to the first house. But one antique dealer had some fabulous key hole plates that I could not pass up. I got a few for under $10 as the sky clouded over. There is going to be something awesome done with these babies:
And so by the time I got to the first house, the rain had started, but my spirits were not dampened. Each home or “painted ladies” as they are called, will be captioned with their address. I visited all 13 homes and a couple of the gardens. Enjoy the tour through my eyes.
1810 S.18th St. Daven & Kathie Anderson had wonderful artworks and history on display.
1828 Hickory, Lovingly restored with modern solar panels and garden roof top.
Roof top garden 1828 Hickory
1803 Rutger, built the same year Union Station was constructed.
2007 Park Ave, Park Avenue Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Had once been both a funeral home and birthing hospital.
Beautiful side view of 2007 Park Ave.
Garden of 2007 Park Ave.
Mote of the gorgeous garden of 2007 Park Ave.
Garden gate of 2007 Park Ave.
2011 Park had my favorite exterior. The third floor was completely restored from a fire.
2011 Park fire escape.
2011 Park Ave bedroom. Absolutely gorgeous light fixture.
2011 Park Ave. stunning parlor.
20 Benton had a luscious garden.
30 Benton Place, a darling house.
34 Benton Place, gorgeous inside and out.
Not on the tour but gorgeous.
9 Benton Place, on one of the oldest streets in the country.
2333 Park Ave, done in Edwardian and Arts and Crafts style.
2340 Park Ave., simply beautiful.
2351 Albion.-I am giving this house special recognition because of how well it has been restored and furnished. The next set of pictures are all from this beautiful mansion. I will confess that this was by far my favorite. They even had a brothel safe in one of the bedrooms! If any of my books are made into a movie, I want it shot in this house. I was so in awe of the inside I forgot to take a picture of the outside!
Not on the tour, but check out that domed turret!
2332 Wittemore Place
2114 Lafayette, my second favorite house on the tour!
The tour was spectacular; the sun even came out. They have a tour at Christmastime also; see Lafayettesquare.org
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