by Michael R. Allen
The so-called Eads House at 1922 Chouteau Avenue in Lafayette Square was owned as investment property by James B. Eads, designer and builder of the famous Eads Bridge in St. Louis. Built in 1872, the mansard-roofed Second Empire originally was divided into two townhouse-style units but was later further divided into four units. The building has stood empty for at least 25 years, and has begun to fully collapse. The Chouteau facade seems intact but a walk around to the alley elevation reveals that the building is in need of desperate help. Homeless people still sleep under the building’s sturdy front steps, though.
A better future may be in sight. From the City of St. Louis Development Activity website: “Julie Padburg is planning to renovate the Eads House and adjoining property. The home was originally slated for demolition, but because of the building’s historical significance, it will be renovated into a single family home instead.”