National Register South St. Louis Southwest Garden

Reber Place Historic District Listed in National Register

Looking west through Tower Grove Park's Kingshighway entrance, which aligns with Reber Place.

On March 12, the National Park Service placed the Reber Place Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. Lynn Josse and Michael R. Allen of Preservation Research Office prepared the nomination for the new historic district, located just west of Tower Grove Park. The Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association commissioned the nomination using funding provided by Alderman Steve Conway (D-8th). The project also includes a nomination of a second area in the Southwest Garden neighborhood west and north of the Missouri Botanical Garden. That area is nominated as the Shaw’s Garden Historic District, and final listing is pending.

View Reber Place Historic District in a larger map

Reber Place reflects both the ambitious aspirations of its founders and a series later development patterns based on streetcar access, the presence of industry, and the rise of the builder-developer as a key force in the landscape of middle-class St. Louis. This six-block area, tightly confined between Tower Grove Park and the Oak Hill and Carondelet Railroad, has significant associations with patterns of residential planning usually seen in the successful private places of St. Louis, with rail-oriented suburban development, and with later typical patterns associated with the rise of the builder-developer and the streetcar grid.

Houses in the 4900 block of Odell Avenue.
Washington University architecture professor Austin Fitch designed his family's residence at 4943 Reber Place (1930).

Development began in 1885, when the first contributing feature (Reber Place’s defining central median) was created, and ends in 1957, when the neighborhood’s major institution, Holy Innocents Parish, completed its building program. With the exception of commercial intrusions and parking lots at the northeast and southeast lots of the district, Reber Place is exceptionally intact.

The house at 2721 S. Kingshighway, built in 1889 by F.C. Mueller & Bro.

Margaret Reber platted Reber Place in 1885 on two tracts of land that she had owned with her husband, Judge Samuel Reber. Judge Reber was known in St. Louis as a circuit court judge of good judgment and mild temper. He wrote the well-known (and controversial) majority opinion upholding Missouri’s anti-Confederate test oath at about the same time the United States Supreme Court was striking it down.” Judge Reber died in 1879.

Read the entire text of the nomination here.

3 replies on “Reber Place Historic District Listed in National Register”

The rail lines absolutely need to be part of the Metrolink system to connect all of these neighborhoods to transit options beyond just buses (even though I think more people should use the buses anyway).  The rail connection through this part of the city has so much potential.

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