Wednesday, May 23, 2018

National Register of Historic Places - Metro St. Louis

One more break from my series of food related posts… We took these photos of historical places in a couple of suburbs that are located close to the city of St. Louis Missouri.

These are the Bellecourt Apartments at 1107 – 1123 Bellevue Avenue in Richmond Heights Missouri.  Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, these late 19th Century/Early 20th Century revival style apartments were built in 1924 with a central courtyard area.  There are 30 apartments, 18 studio, 6 1-bedroom and 6-2 bedroom units.  They were renovated in 2002 – 2003 and they’ve retained their Italian Renaissance features. 

The apartment building is located just west of St. Mary’s Hospital…which incidentally is where our son David II was born.  Originally, these brick and stone apartments were strategically located just north of the tracks for the Forest Park Streetcar/trolley Loop, giving the residents easy access to downtown St. Louis. the moment, there are no vacancies in the building.

Speaking of streetcars or trolleys…Laurie’s sister and her husband Bill pointed this little structure out to us as we were driving around the area.  This is the former “Dinky” Trolley ticket station on Yale Avenue, a north-south street just outside the St. Louis city limits. 

The term “Dinky” was coined by trolley riders as a nickname for smaller streetcars.  This particular route followed a 5.24 mile route and it operated from 1895 until 1949.  Bill, a former police officer, has seen signs of the old streetcar tracks stretching from Clayton Road to the north, to Manchester Road to the south.    

These postcards showing the Maplewood Missouri trolley in various locations give you the ‘feel’ of public transportation prior to WWII.  The postcards and some of the information originated from an article by Doug Houser published in 40 South News in September of 2017. 

The Dinky Trolleys were different than most of the larger units.  At either end of the line, the conductor would manually take the fare box from the front pole to the back pole in the streetcar.  Then he would engage the rear trolley wire and tie down the front wire.  The seat backs could also be flipped to face the opposite direction…

It’s hard to believe it today, but in their heyday during the 1920's, about 1,650 streetcars rumbled along 485 miles of track in and near the city of St. Louis.  Old route maps show trolley lines running in all directions in and around the city.  It must have been confusing as dozens of different companies operated the various lines and routes…

Grace Episcopal Church is a historic English Gothic Revival church building at the corner of Taylor and Argonne Streets in Kirkwood Missouri.  It was constructed in 1859.  Later the building was transferred to the Eliot Unitarian Chapel and the Episcopal congregation moved further down Argonne Street.  This church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  For information about the Eliot Unitarian Chapel, just go to

The membership rolls for Grace Episcopal Church in the early years included the most important people in the community.  Harry Bodley ran an insurance agency and he also established the church.  Henry Hough, who also headed an insurance agency, also acted as Kirkwood’s postmaster.  Abram Mitchell was a director of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and then a partner in the St. Louis Daily News.  R.S. Elliot and H. W. Leffingwell not only acquired the land for the town, they were also civil engineers and they opened one of the earliest real estate offices in St. Louis. In addition the pair was responsible for laying out Grand Avenue in St. Louis and for inspiring the Forest Park Movement in 1869.  Also, Leffingwell served as Kirkwood's first administrator after its charter was granted in 1865.

This stately red brick antebellum home is located at 302 West Argonne Drive in Kirkwood Missouri.  It is one of the largest Greek revival style homes in St. Louis County.  It was built by developer John Hoffman shortly after the Kirkwood was founded.  Today it is called the Mudd House.  

H.T. Mudd bought the home and 100 surrounding acres in 1866.  He was a county auditor and served on Kirkwood’s town board.  He was instrumental in the separation of the City of St. Louis from St. Louis County and while serving as a state legislator, he served on the committee that drafted Missouri’s constitution.  In addition he was a curator of the University of Missouri and served as President of the state horticultural society.

In 1889, George Dana, the founder and President of the Charter Oak Stove Company, purchased the home.  During the time that the Dana family lived here, the hearth room (kitchen) which had been free standing was enclosed, making it part of the house.  Allegedly Dana was the first person in Kirkwood to own an automobile.  Before the family moved out in 1921, he had added the gate lodge, a 2-car garage and the front wrap-around porch. 

Today the property is owned and operated by the Kirkwood Historical Society.  Their museum is open Thursdays and Sundays from 1 PM until 4 PM.  Mudd’s Grove house and grounds are available to rent for special occasions such as weddings, receptions and birthdays.  Phone: 314-965-5151.   Website:

The handsome Ozark Theatre at 103 East Lockwood in Webster Groves Missouri was built in the Spanish Mission revival style.  It first opened its doors back in 1921 and it could seat 1,100 patrons.  Although it no longer shows movies, it is one of the oldest remaining ‘motion picture houses’ in the St. Louis area.  After being remodeled in 1968, it was renamed the Webster Cinema and it continued to show movies (one screen) until 1979.  Later it served as a medical training school as well as the location of the current owner’s stationary and printing business.

With an eye to re-opening it as a movie theatre, major renovations were completed in 2010 but building code requirements and local politics left it sitting unused for a number of years.  However it is currently being touted as “St. Louis County’s best new jazz nightclub”.   The name has been changed though and it’s now officially called Webster Groves Concert Hall. 

The building can also be rented out for birthday parties, private screenings, special events and corporate functions.  You can check out upcoming musical performances at the Webster Groves Concert Hall (aka. The Ozark Theatre) by going to

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Sorry, not much of a comment above as been a lil bit beside maself lately ... will do better next time, friend Dave. Love, cat.

  2. Clever name, Dinky! Great old photos, Dave! Love the architecture of the church, simple with a little trim. And the house and theater are wonderful. Interesting with the red brick chimneys with the little windows there. Old buildings are filled with character. Thanks for sharing!