The Architectural Details of 4668 Pershing Place Do Not Stop at the Exterior

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Peaked Roof

4668 Pershing Place in the Central West End

Priced at $499000

The home at 4668 Pershing Place has not been on the market for more than fifty years. The architectural features are abundant. It is definitely one of those houses that is interesting from the curb and interesting inside. It is two-and-a-half stories.

The exterior is Tudor style which was clearly an inspiration for may 20th century grand homes in the United States including our own St Louis. This style is characterized by steeply pitched gable roofs, embellished doorways, groupings of windows and decorative half-timbering with the spaces between the timbers filled with stucco or masonry.

As an aside, did you know that St Louis passed an ordinance after the large fire that destroyed much of St Louis in 1849 that required new building materials be made out of non-combustible materials. Thus the preponderance of brick and stucco.

The back yard is a brick courtyard with a masonry fence and yard. There is a pagoda and a raised bed for planting. (Patio is covered with leaves, sorry)

The entrance is very decorative and clearly resonates the design preference of the architect who built this home. The ceiling is a groin vault, aka cross vault, which is produced by intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. In addition, there is a built in bench and some built in drama masks. More of these drama masks are displayed on the cantilever just above the porch.

The first floor has four rooms plus a half bath. The trim is unpainted wood and the dining room has wainscoting. The rooms are large and have a nice flow. The living room is a nice size for entertaining. The cantilever with the window grouping adds a separateness that would be a nice area for a game table or reading area with a little privacy. The windows let in northern light. They are casement and individual panes are framed in wood. We are wondering if this was maybe designed as a courting area (some of the CWE homes have these).

One of the most architecturally unique rooms on the first floor is the dining room. It has the round (barrel) vaulted ceiling. Even more detailing is how the windows are also vaulted into the ceiling.

Vaulted windows in dining room

There is a den on the first floor off the dining room that leads to the back yard. The original butlers pantry has been incorporated into the kitchen and really is a great area for the sous-chef. The kitchen is large enough for lots of counter space, storage and also to eat in. It leads to the backyard and has great southern light.

The four bedrooms are on the second floor as well as 2 full bathrooms. In addition to the four bedrooms there is a walk in closet. One of the bedrooms is an on-suite and could make a good in-law suite. This bedroom has southern light. One of the bedrooms has a non-functional fireplace.

The third floor is another architectural delight with a story and a half vaulted ceiling, a small loft and a full bathroom with a sauna. The vaulted room has been used as an entertainment room and has a wet bar. There are some interesting closets in this room with plenty of room for a play area.

The home has a full basement with a walkout. The garage is entered from Euclid. There is radiator heat and three air handlers to keep you cool.

Can’t leave this section without adding a little bit of history. The street Pershing Place was originally Berlin Street. The name was changed at the end of World War I (along with several other streets in St Louis) to Pershing in honor of General John “Black Jack” Pershing, the man who commanded the American troops at war.

The ground at the corner of Pershing and Euclid was slated to be either an apartment building or a commercial building. In 1912 a number of enterprising Berlin Avenue residents got together and persuaded the owner to “restrict” the property to 3 single-family dwellings. In 1913 the house at 4668 was built for Dr. Gustav Lippman, a prominent physician.

Newspaper clippings indicate that Dr Gustav designed the house based on a house he liked on a trip to Nuremburg, Germany. In 1933 the house was sold to Jesse Powell Henry, who reportedly made some minor modifications so that the house resembled an “Old English half-timbered house”. He added a formal walled garden in the rear and an antique iron fence in front to try to accomplish this.

The above history and the following clippings courtesy of Paul Mittelstadt.

Location

4668 Pershing Place is located on a gated private street in the heart of the Central West End, a century old neighborhood located conveniently in the central corridor of St Louis City.  The Central West End is eclectic, cosmopolitan and “bohemian-chic”. It is pedestrian friendly and continues to be a favorite neighborhood for dining, entertainment and shopping. The area is bordered on the west by the award winning Forest Park which is only a 3 block walk from 4668 Pershing Place.

In addition to the many restaurants there are now 3 grocery stores. Straub’s is a family owned St Louis grocery chain since 1901 and is one and a half blocks to the west. Whole Foods is just three blocks south. Just recently Fresh Thyme moved into the newly re-invented St Louis City Foundry complex. (Requires a car unless you are really energetic.)

Within a couple of blocks is The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis and the home of the World Chess Hall of Fame.  The Chess Club is an educational organization giving private lessons but also promoting the educational value of chess through community outreach.

People who have visited the beautiful mosaics of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis have compared it to the finest churches of Europe. Pictured below are some of the shops in the CWE.

In addition to the luxury of a private street, the location is what is a true drawing card for the quality of life here.  The Central West End is the 13th most walkable neighborhood in St. Louis with a neighborhood Walk Score of 87.  The property at 4668 Pershing Place is in the heart of the Central West End.

The commute by car to downtown is 13 minutes. Most errands are walkable.  The Metrolink is 1 miles from the condo so taking in a Cardinal game can be decided on the spur of the moment.  The Gateway Arch and the arch grounds are another St Louis attraction for the whole family easily accessible from the Central West End.

Schools

There is not a shortage of high quality schools in the CWE.  The Metro Academic and Classical High School, a St Louis Public School Magnet School, is located at 4015 Mcpherson Ave on the eastern edge of the CWE.  Metro ranked number 1 in the state of Missouri in 2013 (off and on contender for #1) and again in 2021 according to US News.   Also located in the CWE is the new Guidepost Montessori School located at 4150 Laclede Ave., St Louis, MO 63108. This school serves children age 0 to 11. Click here for a list of more schools located in the Central West End.

New City School is located at 5209 Waterman.  It includes children from age three through 6th grade.  Crossroads College Preparatory School at 500 DeBaliviere accommodates grades 7th through 12.  St Louis University High School, a Jesuit high school for boys was founded in 1818.  It educates young men from 9th through 12th grades.  It is located at 4970 Oakland Avenue (Go Billikens!).

Parents and students in SLPS have options.  There are 27 magnet schools within the district .  They are also tuition free with a couple key differences:

  • Magnet schools don’t have boundaries, and can attract students from any neighborhood in the city (hence the name). This generally results in a more diverse mix of social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.
  • Each magnet offers something different than a traditional public school, be it emphasis on certain subjects, a particular educational approach, or theme.
  • Some magnets require students to meet certain academic, skill, behavior and/or attendance requirements.
  • Advanced application is required and because of their popularity, spots are allocated by lottery.

There are 36 charter schools in St Louis which are also tuition-free schools but not a part of the SLPS.  To learn more about charter schools go to: Charter School 101: The Basics. To determine which St Louis Public School is close to your home, call 314-633-5200.  For a more complete list of schools in the Central West End, click here.

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