Broadway-Dunklin Historic District
The Broadway-Dunklin Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2002, The Gombach Group.
The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, is a largely residential area roughly centered on the former neighborhood public school at the intersection of Broadway and Dunklin Streets. The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District developed as part of the Munichburg neighborhood of Jefferson City, and it lies along a ridge overlooking the State Capitol and downtown Jefferson City. Broadway and West Dunklin Street are two of the primary streets providing access to and through Munichburg, so the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District is in a highly visible part of the neighborhood. At this intersection is a compact cluster of buildings that relate to one another due to the exclusive use of red brick for the main buildings, the rhythm of the spacing between buildings, similar setback, ornamentation, and general high level of maintenance. The houses in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District are mostly 2-story Victorian era residences, with three later period Colonial Revival buildings, a Bungalow, and a former school built in the Classical Revival style. Also, one house and one outbuilding reflect the Missouri-German Vernacular building tradition. The Victorian houses are all built of brick, with complex forms, roof shapes, and ornamentation typical of the Queen Anne style. Patterned masonry and stained glass windows appear on several of these houses. The Colonial Revival houses feature broad, 1-story front porches supported by classic style columns, masonry construction, and well-detailed dormer windows. The former school was designed by local architects as an imposing structure in the Classical Revival style. There are a total of 24 buildings in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, including 15 houses, one former school, and eight outbuildings (one outbuilding is non-contributing). In two separate instances, there are two houses on the same lot — one main house and one alley house. The integrity of the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District is high, as the appearance of the district is very similar to that of the time of construction, and 23 of the 24 buildings are contributing resources. The oldest building in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District was constructed circa 1869, the most recent in 1929.
The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District includes buildings along a portion of two of Munichburg's major traffic ways, Broadway and Dunklin Street. These streets were an early part of the neighborhood's development, as they are clearly visible on the "Bird's's Eye View of Jefferson City, 1869. The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, which is a little less than two blocks in length, lies along a ridge overlooking the State Capitol and downtown Jefferson City. The intersection of Broadway and West Dunklin Street is one of the primary intersections in the Munichburg neighborhood. This is due to its location at the top of the ridge; the dominance of Broadway and West Dunklin as major arteries into and through the neighborhood; the high quality of the architecture at this location and the high level of maintenance of these buildings; and the maple trees that light up this intersection as they change colors in the fall. This part of Broadway used to be known as the "Avenue of the Maples," and new maple trees were planted in the fall of 2001 to replace many of those that had been lost over the years.
The lots facing Broadway between West Dunklin and West Elm Streets and the entire 300 block of West Dunklin, were part of Schwartzott's Subdivision. This subdivision plat was drawn by architect W. Vogdt, February 28,1887. The plat was recorded as part of George Schwarzott's will, dated and filed March 23,1887. In this will, George left the subdivision to his children, Adam Schwarzott, Henry Schwarzott, Thomas Schwarzott, daughter Margaret Mayer, and John Schwarzott. All of the lots were rectangular, with the lots facing Broadway being wider than those facing West Dunklin or West Elm Streets, and all originally had direct access to an alley. The configuration of these lots remains much the same today. Many of the lots willed to the Schwarzott heirs were sold soon after George Schwarzott's death, resulting in seven houses being built on this block within a five-year period: 612, 616, 618, 620, and 630 Broadway, as well as 308 and 310 West Dunklin Street. Lots in the 200 block of West Dunklin Street feature a similar layout, being rectangular and extending from the street to an alley in the rear, although exhibiting greater variation in lot width.
The buildings in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District are located over a block from the central core of the Munichburg neighborhood, as the primary center of retail activity was at the intersection of Dunklin and Jefferson Streets. As they were somewhat removed from the central core of the neighborhood, most of the area's development occurred during the period 1866 to 1919. However, the existence of an outbuilding behind 610 Broadway appears to have been constructed much earlier (this outbuilding appears on the "Bird's's Eye View of 1869) and indicates that this area was part of Munichburg's development during the period 1850s to 1865, although at the western edge of the neighborhood. Development continued in this area after World War I, indicated by the construction of 608 Broadway in 1929. This period of development is 1920 to 1954. No buildings less than 50 years old exist within the district boundaries, with the possible exception of the outbuilding behind 612 Broadway, which is non-contributing.
There are relatively few property styles exhibited in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, with houses exhibiting Queen Anne influences being the greatest in number. Built during the same time frame as the Queen Anne influenced houses is a Gabled Ell subtype house at 310 West Dunklin Street. One architect-designed building, the former Broadway School, represents the Classical Revival style. The Colonial Revival style is exhibited on three houses: 210 West Dunklin Street and 610 and 618 Broadway. One Bungalow style house and one house and one outbuilding constructed in the Missouri-German Vernacular building tradition complete the list of styles represented within the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District. Eight outbuildings also are included in the district, for a total of 24 buildings, with all but one outbuilding contributing to the district. The Queen Anne style is the predominant stylistic influence in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, in terms of number of buildings constructed. Seven houses in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District exhibit Queen Anne detailing, with all but one being 2-story buildings. The house at 218 West Dunklin is a 1-story example, having a hipped roof with lower cross gables. These buildings were all constructed between 1885 and 1898. Another mid-period style exhibited in this district is the Gabled Ell, represented by the residence at 310 West Dunklin Street, constructed circa 1887. The size and corner location of the former Broadway School, now the Carpenters' Union Building, makes it the most dominant building of the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District. The former school is an architect-designed example of the Classical Revival style constructed in 1904, which replaced an earlier school in the same location. Three Colonial Revival style houses were built in 1891, 1908, and 1913. One outbuilding (circa 1869) and one house (circa 1888) were constructed in the Missouri-German Vernacular building tradition. The most recent house constructed in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District is a Bungalow style house at 608 Broadway, built in 1929.
Current uses include seven houses in residential use; four houses and one former school used as commercial structures, two houses used as both commercial and residential, and two houses used as outbuildings. The houses now in commercial use retain their residential appearance, and the outbuildings remain largely unchanged. The condition of most of the houses is good to excellent, as those that are owner-occupied or used for commercial purposes have generally been well maintained or recently rehabilitated. Houses used for rental purposes vary in condition from fair to very good, as rehabilitation of this type of property is just beginning. Outbuildings range from good to excellent regarding condition, as most are currently in use for storage purposes.
Brick was the dominant construction material as the district was being developed. All of the houses facing Broadway or Dunklin Streets, the former school, and two outbuildings are built of brick, resulting in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District's cohesive appearance. The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District contains a rather compact cluster of buildings that relate to one another due to the exclusive use of red brick for the main buildings, lots of similar size and shape that resulted in similar setbacks from the street and spacing between houses, similarities in ornamentation, and a general high level of building maintenance.
The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District continues to reflect a steady evolution of Missouri-German building traditions, which covered a period of over a century. The buildings in this district were constructed over a sixty-year period, spanning all three periods of the Munichburg neighborhood's development. The variety in original construction styles is still exhibited in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, which today looks remarkably as it did in the early 1900s. All of the buildings within the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District are contributing resources (except for one outbuilding) and provide a highly intact collection of Munichburg's historic architecture.
The history of the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District is part of the history of Munichburg, a neighborhood on the south side of Jefferson City, Missouri. The district's buildings are a remarkably intact reflection of a steady evolution of Missouri-German building traditions, which covered a period of over a century. The fact that a number of Missouri-German families lived in these homes for a long period of time indicates the stability of the neighborhood prior to World War II, and the inclination of Missouri-German residents to remain in the neighborhood where their culture was widely accepted. The buildings in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District illustrate several aspects of the neighborhood's development, including the expansion of the neighborhood by prosperous business owners, some of them second-generation neighborhood residents. The buildings in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District were developed over a sixty-year period representing all periods of Munichburg's development. The quality and variety of the buildings' design and construction is still very evident in the district, which is remarkably unchanged from the early 1900s. All of the buildings within the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District are contributing resources (except for one non-contributing garage), due to their age, architectural integrity, lengthy association with Missouri-German families, and representation of the neighborhood's development patterns. The contributing buildings in this district represent a highly intact collection of Munichburg's historic architecture.
The Broadway-Dunklin Historic District in Jefferson City, Missouri developed along with the rest of Munichburg. Munichburg developed as an insular neighborhood, separated from Jefferson City's traditional downtown by a hill overlooking Wear's Creek, and by the tendency of its German-American inhabitants to live near one another. The early residents of this neighborhood were of German descent, being immigrants and first-generation Americans. German settlement began in Munichburg in the 1850s, as great numbers of Germans fled their home country due to the Prussian repression of the late 1840s. These residents of Munichburg moved here in order to retain the culture and traditions brought with them from Germany, including their German language. Many first- and second-generation family members both lived and worked in Munichburg, in close proximity with others who shared their background and beliefs. By 1859 the Central German Evangelical Church members had erected their first building at the corner of Washington and Ashley Streets. The church, with its tall steeple visible throughout the neighborhood, became the cultural and social center of the German ethnic neighborhood, a self-contained and self-sustaining community. Residents had little reason to venture out of their neighborhood, as their church, recreation, retail establishments, and school were all within an area of about six square blocks.
On the "Bird's Eye View of Jefferson City, Capitol of Missouri, 1869," it is evident that the core of the neighborhood during the first period of development lay between Broadway on the west, Madison on the east, Elm on the north, and Ashley Street on the south. It is clear that Broadway and Dunklin Streets are major thoroughfares, both extending well beyond the neighborhood. The "Bird's Eye View of Jefferson City, Capitol of Missouri, 1869" reveals that development of the district during the period 1850s to 1865, was less dense than in later periods, as this area was at the western edge of the neighborhood. One building shown in this view remains in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, the outbuilding behind 610 Broadway. The culture of this part of the neighborhood, however, was firmly established during this time frame, and it continued to influence neighborhood development until the 1950s.
The area included in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District grew most rapidly during the period 1866 to 1919, as virtually all construction in the district was completed by 1913. The public school that had served the neighborhood at the corner of Broadway and Dunklin Street was replaced by the current structure in 1904. The need for a larger school building reflected both the growth of the neighborhood during the late 1800s and the Americanization of the neighborhood, as the Evangelical Church had discontinued its parochial school (where classes were conducted in German rather than English), and neighborhood children enrolled in the neighborhood's public school circa 1902. An addition to the school circa 1920, containing a total of eight classrooms, indicates that growth continued in the neighborhood after the turn of the century.
The development of the district reflected cultural changes evident elsewhere in Munichburg during the second period of development. Anti-German sentiment after the Civil War, leading up to Prohibition (Germans were associated with the "evils of drink" by the Temperance Movement), and during the fight against Germany in World War I resulted in Missouri Germans exhibiting less of their German culture publicly and becoming more Americanized. This move toward Americanization resulted in adoption of architectural styles popular at the time, a change from the traditional Missouri-German Vernacular type typical of the first period of Munichburg's development. During the second period of development, construction methods exhibited a mixture of Missouri-German building traditions and mainstream American architectural styles, with the Missouri-German craftsmanship still evident and the preference for masonry construction dominating the district. Access to building materials delivered by railroad allowed houses in the district to exhibit decorative elements, such as stained glass windows, cornice brackets, and turned porch posts and spindlework, that otherwise would not have been available locally. The construction of houses in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District demonstrates the outward expansion of the Munichburg neighborhood during the second period of development, and the exhibition of wealth accumulated by the neighborhood's families, often a result of hard work by the first generation to settle in Munichburg. District residents held such employment titles as retail store owner, insurance salesperson, builder, musician, photographer, and a wagon maker. The district was made up of middle-class business owners and tradespeople, and the architecture reflected both their hard-earned prosperity and their willingness to adopt more Americanized styles of housing by the latter part of the 1800s and early 1900s. One example of this is the Herman Tanner House, 630 Broadway, that was built by the second generation of Tanners to live and work in Munichburg. The Queen Anne influence is seen in the elaborate brickwork on both the front and side of this house, the stained glass windows, and iron balcony, all designed to impress people with the family's success in their dry goods store two blocks away. A second example in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District is the Joseph Pope House, 222 West Dunklin Street. Pope was instrumental in shaping more than just his house, as he constructed some of the first sidewalks, streets, and highways in Missouri. In Jefferson City alone, he was responsible for the first macadam street and probably 75 percent of the sidewalks and 90 percent of all the city's streets. In 1917 his company was awarded the first state contract for an improved road between the Osage River Bridge and Centertown, and he later served as a director for the Central Missouri Trust Company. The rich ornamentation of the Queen Anne style obviously appealed to this generation of residents, and they allowed the neighborhood's talented masons to display their art in the elaborate brick decoration of their houses.
Some aspects of the culture established in the neighborhood during the early settlement period continued to influence development of the district during the years 1866-1919. For example, families continued to live close to one another and to remain in Munichburg for a long period of time. George Schwarzott, who was responsible for subdividing a major portion of the district, lived in a house at 606 Broadway. (This house is shown on the 1939 Sanborn Map, but has since been replaced by a parking lot.) His son Henry was a builder and lived with his father in 1878, even though he had established a business office at 231 Madison Street. After his father's death, Henry moved a few houses away to 311 West Elm Street, and to 310 West Dunklin Street by 1913. The Buersmeyer family carried on this tradition, when M.R. Buersmeyer bought 610 Broadway from John Sinclair's heirs in 1928. Apparently this transaction included the adjacent lot, which M.R. Buersmeyer sold to Clarence Buersmeyer in 1929, where Clarence built a Bungalow style house at 608 Broadway. Nelson C. Burch, a son of Oscar Burch, who built another house in 1869, chose to build a house at 616 Broadway circa 1890. Nelson C. Burch continued to live at 616 Broadway until at least 1915. Another example is Caroline Tanner, wife of Herman Tanner, who remained in their house at 630 Broadway until at least 1951, sixty-four years after they first moved into the house. Alex Kocher, a wagon manufacturer, lived next door at 620 Broadway from at least 1900 to sometime between 1943 and 1948. Similarly, Joseph Pope's wife, Louisa, was still living in their house in 1951, fifty-four years after he built the house. Descendants of the Pope family only sold the house in the 1990s, over one hundred years after construction.
Another cultural influence is shown in the development patterns evident in the district. The majority of properties included in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District are located on lots platted on behalf of George Schwarzott and sold or developed by his heirs. A dominant feature of this development is the use of alleys, which was typical throughout Munichburg, and all of the lots in the district originally terminated at an alley. One result of this was the development of Alley Houses. The existence of Alley Houses is somewhat unusual, as a house facing an alley would today be considered undesirable, and so most Alley Houses in Jefferson City have been demolished. Two Alley Houses are included in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, both currently being used for storage. The frugal nature of the area's residents can be demonstrated by the retention of Alley Houses, outbuildings, and even main houses while converting the structures to modern use. A number of residential buildings and the former school have been converted to commercial use, rather than a new building being constructed in their place.
The influence of development in the district during the period 1920 to 1954, is somewhat minimal, as only one house in the district was built during this period, 608 Broadway. However, the history of houses in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District can illustrate the impact of the Depression and expansion of state government on the area, and the frugality typical of the Missouri-German culture that continued to influence residents' decisions during this period. For example, Carl and Elizabeth Deeg moved into their house at 210 West Dunklin Street in 1908, when the house was new. Carl was a photographer who had a studio on High Street in Jefferson City. During the Depression, city directories indicate that they took on boarders or rented out apartment space, as there are two other names listed for this residence in 1933 and one in 1935. By 1943 Carl Deeg had passed away, and Elizabeth Deeg remained in the house along with one to two renters until at least 1951. The Deegs lived in this house for over fifty years, and the fact that they began renting part of the house during the Depression gives us a glimpse into how the frugal Missouri Germans managed during these difficult years. After Carl's death, Elizabeth continued to rent part of the house. Other properties, such as 212 West Dunklin Street and 612 and 616 Broadway, housed non-family members during the 1930s and 1940s. This illustrates the demand for housing near state office buildings downtown, as state government began to expand in the 1920s. By the 1930s and 1940s, apartment buildings had begun to appear in Munichburg. This densification and higher percentage of renters rather than longtime property owners no doubt contributed to the abandonment of Munichburg by some, leaving the door open for urban renewal efforts to begin.
The intact architecture and impacts of Missouri-German culture that have been described for these houses are typical of the houses in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District. The quality of the buildings' design and construction is still exhibited in the district, which is remarkably unchanged from the early 1900s. All of the contributing buildings in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District retain a high degree of integrity. All but one of the buildings within the district are contributing resources, due to their age, architectural integrity, and lengthy association with Missouri-German families, and they represent a highly intact collection of Munichburg's historic architecture. Where there have been alterations, these tend to follow a similar pattern within the neighborhood, usually involving changes to porches. For instance, original ornamental wood porches were replaced fairly often in the 1920s with porches having brick piers or metal awnings and concrete floors. During the 1990s, two porches were altered again, to recapture an appearance more typical of the houses' original construction period. This trend of secondary alterations is expected to continue as rehabilitation of buildings in the district continues.
A variety of architectural styles and forms are included in the Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, illustrating the area's development over a sixty-year period. The almost exclusive use of red brick, along with similar setbacks and lot dimensions, has resulted in a continuity within the district and a cohesive quality in this largely residential area. The contributing buildings and outbuildings retain their original form, massing, size, setback, spacing, and materials. The cultural aspects of the district's development include the close proximity of family members, long-term residence in the same house or in the Munichburg neighborhood, and the frugal nature of the Missouri Germans, which served them well during difficult financial periods. Even after more popular architectural styles began to be utilized in the district, certain influences of the Missouri-German Vernacular building tradition, such as the use of red brick and arched windows, continued to impact the architecture of the district.
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† Jane Rodes Beetem, consultant, Broadway-Dunklin Historic District, Cole County, MO, nomination document, 2002, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.