by Michael R. Allen
The Ville has lost plenty of buildings in the last fifty years, but remarkably many frame houses remain from early development. Still, the frame houses don’t last long when abandoned. The photograph above shows three similar frame houses in the 2500 block of Whittier (across from the old Homer G. Phillips Hospital) back in 2004.
The house at 2420 Whittier dated to 1885 and was built by James Chadwick, an active developer in what was then known as Elleardsville. This house was for sale in 2004. The original clapboard siding was still in place under later asbestos tile siding. Now it is a burned out pile of building debris. The fire revealed that the original wooden shingles were still present under layers of newer roofing!
The only house remaining from the group of three that I photographed in 2004 is the house in the middle at 2518 Whittier. The date of construction is unknown, but it was probably built around 1885 too. In 1906, it was moved to this site. Today it is well-kept (although the original siding is either missing or covered) and occupied. The house at 2518 Whittier is included in an architectural survey of the Ville neighborhood conducted by Lynn Josse and myself under the supervision of the city’s Cultural Resources Office.