by Michael R. Allen
Tucked alongside a commercial building, sometimes obscured by trees and with a partly collapsed roof, the one-story flounder house at 2704 Cass Avenue evades attention. Yet the small house’s craftsmanship shows in details like the dentillated cornice on the side elevation. There are signs that the front originally had a wooden or galvanized cornice, but the chance that anyone will ever know for certain is slim. The chance that the house will survive the next decade may be slimmer still.
The house may date to 1885, but could be older. It stands on City Block 1843, bounded by Cass, Elliott, Sheridan and Leffingwell avenues — a city block that has never had an alley. This house and much of the rest of the block is owned by Northside Regeneration LLC. Once part of dense urban fabric, the little house has become doubly noteworthy: it is one of only three buildings left on this block, and one of perhaps as few as 160 remaining flounder houses in St. Louis.