by Michael R. Allen
This house on the 2800 block of Victor Street in Fox Park is a lovely house that uses the American Foursquare form.Â (The American Foursquare is typified by a rectangular shape, hipped or sometimes gabled roof with central dormer and four-room plan on each floor.)Â The use of the rock-faced dark brick is particularly striking.Â Yet something clearly is missing!
Look above the entrance — there is a shade of the old balcony.Â The outline suggests that the balcony was cantilevered over the entrance, maybe with ornate brackets underneath.
Aha! Indeed, the balcony did have ornate brackets and was cantilevered over the entrance. We know this because the near-twin house next door retains its original balcony.Â The next-door house is only a near-twin because it employs paired string courses that connect with the arches of the windows and entrance.Â The balconies were probably the same, but the brick work was not made exact.Â Such a slight variation is typical in St. Louis vernacular masonry architecture, which produced many near-twins but few exact copies.