by Michael R. Allen
Nearly every day I pass by this lonely two-story frame house at the northwest corner of North Florissant and Newhouse avenues in Hyde Park. While this stretch of North Florissant has its gaps, the east side is a nearly-continuous line of flats, houses and storefronts. Pietkutowski’s is not far. Yet this house stands alone at the intersection. Original weatherboard siding peaks out from failing rolled asphalt siding that mocks red brick (note the faux keystones on the front elevation!). Above, the slates on the mansard roof are in place, shedding water as they should. The side entrance is covered by a Craftsman-influenced open hood, a later addition marking stylistic changes since the nineteenth century when the house was built. Many frame houses in Hyde Park have been lost, and few have the solid and straight lines of this one. Yet I suspect one day my travels will take me past its grave-site, mud marked by bulldozer tracks.