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Burkhardt Historic District


Houses in the Burkhardt Historic District, Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, MO, National Register

Photo: Houses in the Burkhardt Historic District, Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, MO. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 and 2006. Photographed by user: Mark Revenscraft (own work), 2013, [cc-by-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed May, 2014.

The Burkhardt Historic District and the Burkhardt Historic District Boundary Increase were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 and 2006 respectively. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from copies of the original nomination documents. [] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Burkhardt Historic District sits on the southeast corner of the intersection of Chesterfield Airport Road (originally Olive Street Road) and Baxter Road in Chesterfield, Missouri. The small district contains a two-story commercial building, two houses, a small residence and three garages, all of which were built by or for local businessman Edward Burkhardt. All except one of the buildings utilize structural ceramic tile and brick construction, which was a relatively new practice at the time. District boundaries include Lots 1-3 of the "Subdivision of the Lena Burkhardt Estate," which is also the remaining core of the Edward Burkhardt estate. The houses occupy the east part of the district. They are one and one-half story brick Bungalows, built in 1926 from the same plans, with nearly identical finishes. The house at 16666 Chesterfield Airport Road is closest to the bank; it has two ceramic tile and brick outbuildings, which were both built at the same time as the house. The second house, at 16662 Chesterfield Airport Road, has one tile and brick garage, built ca.1929, which is also contributing. The houses and their outbuildings, five buildings in all, are all highly intact inside and out, and are contributing buildings. The commercial building is the Farmers State Bank of Chesterfield, which was built in 1914. The bank building was individually listed in the National Register on August 20,1999. A small one story garage behind the bank has been newly remodeled, and was a non-contributing resource for that nomination. The bank building appears today much as it did when new, and is in excellent condition. Although the bank is an important element of the Burkhardt Historic District, it is already listed and therefore neither it, nor the garage behind it, is included in the resource count.

Elaboration: The Burkhardt Historic District sits at the intersection of two busy roads, in a largely commercial area. Baxter Road, which is just west of the Burkhardt Historic District, is a newly constructed arterial street. The land immediately west of that street slopes up from the roadway, and is undeveloped. The area north of the Burkhardt Historic District, across Chesterfield Airport Road, is primarily commercial. Most buildings on that part of the street are new or substantially remodeled older buildings.

The area immediately east of the Burkhardt Historic District contains a line of ten modest residences [see below for Boundary Increase in 2006 which includes eight of these residences]. The houses found there, which are all part of the original Burkhardt Place subdivision, are almost all modest dwellings of about the same age. All except one were built in the 1920s or 1930s, and all of those are of brick and tile construction. The exception is the house which is immediately east of the district boundaries. It is of frame construction, with a new porch, modern siding, and what appear to be newer windows. The other houses on the street exhibit various levels of integrity; some have seen significant changes, many others are largely intact. Several of those houses were nearly identical when new; four of them utilize a distinctive side gabled form, and three others use a plan which features a hipped roof and recessed front porch.

The Burkhardt Historic District encompasses the three lots shown in the "Subdivision of the Lena Burkhardt Estate," which was platted in 1947. The three lots also represent the intact core of the Edward Burkhardt's estate, which originally extended west of the bank building as well. The land west of the bank is now covered by Baxter Road and its right of way. That area must have been sold separately in 1947 or before, as it is not even assigned a lot number in the 1947 plat. The three lots which were included in the subdivision appear today much as they did when the plat was filed. Lot 1 contains the bank and garage, and Lots 2 and 3 each have a single family brick Bungalow.

All of the buildings in the Burkhardt Historic District sit on level ground; the land rises steeply to a wooded hillside just south of the outbuildings. The buildings found there today date from 1914 to around 1931. All five of the buildings to be counted in this nomination are highly intact, and all are contributing resources. The Bungalows, the small residence, and one of the garages were all built as a single construction project in 1926. The second garage was added shortly after, probably around 1929. The houses are Bungalows with Craftsman styling, and are representative examples of that popular house type. The outbuildings are similar to the houses in construction methods and detailing, and are immediately recognizable to their period of construction. Lot 1 of the Burkhardt Historic District, which contains the large Late Victorian style bank building, has already been listed in the National Register, in the areas of Architecture and Commerce. The bank building was a contributing resource in that nomination; a 1931 concrete block garage to the rear was a non-contributing resource. Neither is included in the resource count for the Burkhardt Historic District.

Significance

Summary: The buildings of the Burkhardt Historic District, in Chesterfield, Missouri are significant under National Register Criterion B, in the area of Community Planning and Development, for their association with Edward Burkhardt, and under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture. Burkhardt was a long-time local businessman who had a major impact upon the business and residential development of Chesterfield in the early 20th century. He was also very active in real estate development; one source credited him with building 17 of the 30 buildings in town at one point.[1] The Burkhardt Historic District boundaries include the intact portion of Lot 12 of Burkhardt Place, a subdivision he and his wife Lena platted in 1918. Although Burkhardt owned a good deal of property in Chesterfield at the time of his death, Lot 12 of Burkhardt Place was, from its inception, the core of his personal estate. All of the buildings found there today were built by or for him. The buildings of the Burkhardt Historic District are significant in the area of Architecture as well. All of the contributing buildings of the district utilize structural tile and brick construction, which was favored by Burkhardt. The houses provide highly intact examples of the Bungalow house type, which was extremely popular nationwide in the 1920s and 1930s. The bank, with its modern ceramic block walls and Late Victorian styling, is representative of the transition between 19th and 20th century building practices. All of the buildings exhibit a high level of integrity, inside and out They represent the most intact and cohesive grouping of properties to have been owed by Burkhardt while he was active in the development of Chesterfield.

Burkhardt Historic District properties include the 1914 Farmers State Bank of Chesterfield, two Bungalows built in 1926, and four outbuildings, three of which are of clay tile and brick construction. [see Boundary Increase below) Both houses and all three tile outbuildings are contributing resources; the bank building was listed individually in the National Register in 1999, under Criterion A in the area of Commerce, and Criterion C, in the area of Architecture. A low garage behind the bank building was a non-contributing building under that nomination. Neither the bank nor the garage behind it are included in the resource count. The period of significance runs from 1914, the construction date of the oldest building in the district, to 1934, the year of Burkhardt's death.

Elaboration: Chesterfield is one of the oldest communities along Olive Street Road (now Chesterfield Airport Road) in western St. Louis County. The roots of the settlement pre-date the Louisiana Purchase, and the first plat for the Village of Chesterfield was laid out in 1817, at a location south of the present Chesterfield Airport Road.[2] It was, however, much later in the 1800s that the settlement really took hold. Somewhere around 1880, the railroad which was to become the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific came through the area, and development shifted north to be close to the tracks. Much of the new town grew up on land owned by German immigrant Christian Burkhardt, who purchased 21 acres in the area in 1877, and eventually amassed more than 100 acres of farmland in the area. Christian Burkhardt apparently had "Burkhardt's Subdivision" platted around the time the railroad came through, but never recorded the plat.[3] He began selling lots in the area in the 1890s; one of his first customers was his son Edward, who opened a general store and post office near the railroad depot in 1895.[4]

Edward Burkhardt played a prominent role in the town's development from that point on. His impact was such that one local history of the community referred to the town as it appeared in the first half of the twentieth century as "Edward Burkhardt's Chesterfield."[5] Edward took up what his father had started, and spent the rest of his life developing various enterprises in the community. Christian Burkhardt was described in a 1911 biography as having been a farmer up until his death in 1898, leading to the conclusion that his involvement in town development consisted mainly of subdividing part of his farm to take advantage of its proximity to the railroad. He may also have laid out the plat to help his son Edward get started in business. Edward's biography in 1911 noted that he "remained on his father's farm until he was twenty-one years of age and, not being attracted to the pursuit of agriculture, he embarked in the mercantile business in his own name on his twenty-first birthday."[6]

A map of Chesterfield which was published in the 1909 St. Louis county atlas shows that at that time Edward Burkhardt owned many of the lots laid out by his father, including several along Olive Street Road, his commercial building by the tracks, which was labeled as a "Store, Hotel and P.O." (post office), and what appears to be a house just east of the store.[7] The railroad depot, which was called Drew station until around 1920, was located directly north of Burkhardt's store. Neither of those buildings have survived.

Edward Burkhardt's dual role as postmaster and owner of one of the primary commercial establishments in town led to high public visibility and a thriving business. His 1911 biography noted that "as a result of his earnest application he has experienced a liberal patronage which yields a handsome annual income."[8] As his business grew, so did his interest in local real estate. In 1907 he and his wife of six years, Lena, purchased nearly 7.5 acres of land just south of the area platted by Christian Burkhardt. It is upon that land that the Burkhardt Historic District is located today.

In 1912, Burkhardt sold the business of the general store and associated saloon to George Ruppel, a long time employee who also married Lena's sister Johanna at some point.[9] He did retain ownership of the building, which he rented to Ruppel.[10] He also held onto the position of postmaster; his tenure in that capacity spanned an impressive 39 years and two different locations.

Two years after he sold the store business, he built a new building on the land he had purchased in 1907, and went into the banking business. The new building was just down the road to the south of Burkhardt's early store, at a bend in the road which made it particularly visible as one approached from the direction of the railroad. Construction of the building was a family affair. The building permit issued to Burkhardt for the "40 x 42 foot tile building" identified the contractor and builder to be Charles Bierbrauer.[11] Lena Burkhardt's maiden name was Bierbrauer, and Burkhardt family papers include papers and photographs of Charles Bierbrauer as well. Bierbrauer's exact relationship to Lena is unclear, he was 23 years older than she was, and was probably her father or uncle.

The new bank building combined traditional Victorian styling with modern construction methods. The ornate pressed-metal storefront of the building was of a style more popular in the late 1800s than in the new century. Such conservative styling would of course have been fitting for a financial institution. The use of ceramic tile for the structure of the building was, by contrast, a relatively modern practice. The first house to be built in St. Louis of hollow tile, for example, was only a few years old when Burkhardt Place was created. The use of hollow tiles for that type of construction was so unusual that it merited a photo and articles in the St. Louis papers. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat wrote in August of 1912 that "the first residence built in St. Louis of hollow tile is going up at 12 Kingsbury Place."[12] Ceramic tile was apparently a favorite of Burkhardt's; almost all of the buildings in the Burkhardt Historic District today utilize at least some structural ceramic tile. The exterior walls of the outbuildings, which utilize both brick and tile in an ornamental pattern, were built almost exactly like the walls of the bank. (The bank walls were covered with stucco at an early date, but are clearly shown in a couple of early photos.)

On March 5,1914, Burkhardt and six other men were granted a bank charter. Things moved quickly from there on, and it took less than five months to get the bank up and running. Burkhardt received the building permit on May 5, and, according to a later bank history, by July 21st, "they had the 'Farmer's State Bank' of Chesterfield as a going concern."[13] Burkhardt was the first president as well as the landlord; the bank rented space in the new building from him for $10 a month.[14] Burkhardt continued his role as bank president until 1923, and served as postmaster in the new building until the early 1930s.[15]

He apparently gave up banking to concentrate on real estate development. Many of Burkhardt's personal papers are still in existence, and they show that he had a number of construction projects going in the 1920s and very early 1930s.[16] Burkhardt was obviously involved in all aspects of the building process; the papers include everything from building permits to brick catalogues. The types of papers that have survived indicate that his role in the building projects was more of a general contractor than a laborer. Although none of the papers identify a particular carpenter, it is known that he had a favorite mason and plaster worker. There are several bills and receipts from Charles Grother, who appears to have specialized in what one receipt described as "laying concrete blox, brick, and tile."[17] Those tasks could often represent a large part of the building process, especially for the outbuildings of the district, which were almost entirely of masonry construction.

Much of the development Burkhardt was involved in took place on the land near the new bank building. In the spring of 1918, he and Lena Burkhardt filed a plat for Burkhardt Place, which divided the 7-1/2-acre tract around the bank into 12 lots. Lots 1-11, which are all relatively small, appear to have been created for speculation, while Lot 12, which included the bank, was reserved for his own use. Lot 12 was by far the largest in the tract, at 5.1 acres. The small lots are lined up along the street at the west end of the subdivision. They were apparently intended for the types of modest houses now found there; most are only about 50 feet wide, and 140 to 175 feet deep.

Houses started going up in Burkhardt Place right away. One of the houses there is said to have been built in 1918, and Burkhardt's 1920 tax returns show that he sold three lots that year, presumably in Burkhardt Place.[18] By the mid to late 1920s, all 11 of the small lots had houses on them."[19] Burkhardt and his in-laws were directly involved with some of that development. His tax return shows that the buyer of the three lots he sold in 1920 was August Bierbrauer, who appears to have been bank contractor Charles Bierbrauer's son, and therefore Lena Burkhardt's brother or cousin. Also, an architectural survey of the area which was done in 1989 identified members of the Bierbrauer family as the first owners of three different houses on the block, at least one of which was in association with Burkhardt.[20]

The small lots of Burkhardt Place were not the only places to see new construction during that period. Several new residential buildings were also built on Lot 12. The 5-acre parcel of land which surrounded the bank developed into a compound of sorts, with the large commercial bank building surrounded by residences and outbuildings. Residences around the bank included two houses which sat to the west, one of which appears to have been the Burkhardt family home. Historic photos of the area show that there was a large, elaborately styled, frame Bungalow directly west of the bank, which was built before 1925.[21] Several other family photos appear to have been taken from the yard of that house, which Burkhardt referred to in a 1927 letter as "my 9 room California Bungalow." Little is known about the use of the other house, which was built in the late 19th century.[22] It was a small frame dwelling, which sat southwest of the bank. Both houses west of the bank were demolished in the 1990s to make room for new road construction.

Burkhardt was also very much involved with the construction of the two brick Bungalows east of the bank, which are still standing, and within the Burkhardt Historic District boundaries. Burkhardt's papers include a number of items which relate directly to those buildings. Those papers include the actual building permits for the two brick houses and two of the outbuildings. The permits are numbered consecutively, and issued on the same day, July 26,1926. Each permit is for a brick residence and garage."[23]

Even though both of those houses now have a garage, it appears that the outbuildings covered by the 1926 permits were both built behind the house closest to the bank. The two outbuildings behind that house have markedly similar styling and construction detailing, while the garage behind the other house is different enough to indicate a slightly later construction date. It is possible that the smaller of the two original outbuildings, which was labeled as a dwelling on the 1947 plat of the property, was always a residence, and was simply called a garage on the permit to save on taxes and permit costs. It may also be that it was converted to its present form at a very early date. It is known to have been a dwelling for at least part of its history. The building was for a time the residence of two men, brothers, who worked at the Post Office for Edward Burkhardt.[24] They must not have needed much room, the entire building is only about 20 feet square.

The garage behind the house on Lot 3 was probably built around 1929. A receipt from Charles Grother dated Nov. 30,1929 includes a line for "garage plaster material and labor." No address is given, so it is not clear which garage Grother was billing for. In any event, it is likely that the later garage was built before 1931. Burkhardt had the 1931 garage behind the bank built of concrete block rather than tile, and would probably have used that material for any later outbuildings elsewhere on the property.[25]

Elaboration: Architecture

The houses in the Burkhardt Historic District were not only built at the same time, they were obviously built from the same plans, and appear to have had identical finishes when new. They have exactly the same dimensions and room layouts, and share such finish characteristics as type of exterior brick and interior woodwork; even the art glass windows over the fireplaces are identical. The use of standardized plans was not at all unusual at the time, stock plans were readily available from catalogue companies and local lumberyards. Edward Burkhardt would have had easy access to such plan books, either through the local lumberyard or by special order from St. Louis or elsewhere. He was certainly not opposed to ordering his building materials from the City; his papers include receipts and bids from St. Louis suppliers of everything from asphalt shingles to central furnace units.

There is also strong evidence that many of the other houses in the area utilized standardized plans. There are two groups of houses on the small lots of Burkhardt Place which are clearly the products of the same set of plans. Three of them, all built ca.1920, have hipped roofs, recessed front porches, and prominent hipped dormers. There are also four houses, all of which date to ca.1925, which have a distinctive 1-1/2 story side gabled form.

Burkhardt's choice of Bungalow plans for the new houses was not surprising; the Bungalow was extremely popular at the time. As one architectural history put it the "bungalow was hardly known in 1900, but by 1910 thousands of houses were being built under the generic name 'bungalow.' They were hailed as quintessentially American creations, the wave of the future."[26] The roots of the Bungalow house type in America has been attributed to a number of sources, ranging from humble temporary housing, to elaborate, professionally-designed houses. The actual name of the house type comes from the Indian word bangala which was used in British Bengal to describe native dwellings there.[27] In American usage, the term first came to be used to describe a modest, often temporary dwelling.

High style roots of the American Bungalow have often been attributed to the work of brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, California architects who started designing large houses in the Bungalow style in the early 1900s.[28] Influences of both the English Arts and Crafts movement and wooden Japanese architecture can be seen in the emphasis Greene and Greene placed on such things as hand crafted woodwork, picturesque massing of the structure, and a general move away from applied surface ornamentation. And, although the houses erected by Greene and Greene are large and elaborate, the underlying design principles were found to apply easily to much more modest dwellings.

Humble beginnings or high-style creation, the Bungalow house type of the early 20th century was very much an American creation, and one often associated with California. Bungalows built in California were, like the large houses designed by the Greene brothers, often of frame construction, with strong use of the structure of the house in an ornamental manner. This was seen often in the handling of such things as exposed rafter ends, and prominent use of natural materials. The strong association with California and the Bungalow is reflected in Burkhardt's use of the term "California Bungalow" for his frame bungalow.

The Bungalow house type, especially in its more modest incarnations, has also been strongly associated with the Craftsman movement in architecture, to the point that some sources refer to all Bungalows as Craftsman style buildings.[29] Gustav Stickley, who published the Craftsman magazine from 1901-1915, is generally considered to be the founder of the Craftsman movement. Stickley, who was a furniture maker early in his career, believed that good design should not be reserved for the houses of the wealthy. He wrote in 1913 that the Craftsman Movement stood not only for well made affordable furniture, but also for "a distinct type of American architecture, for well built, democratic homes, planned for and owned by the people who live in them."[30]

That type of attitude made the Bungalow especially attractive to mail-order companies and their customers, and it was partly due to them that the style became so widely adopted for modest dwellings. The mail order house catalogue business flourished during the same period that the Bungalow was popular. By the 1910s, it was possible to mail order everything from a set of full working drawings to an entire prefabricated house, complete with nails and varnish. Plans could be obtained easily and inexpensively, and were widely utilized for both custom and speculative building projects.

Bungalow plans quite often reflect the values that were advocated in Stickley's writings, and it is his interior designs that most obviously carried over into popular Bungalow designs. His descriptions of Craftsman architecture apply to many Bungalow plans published in the teens and twenties. The floor plans are relatively open, to "do away with" the notion "that a house must be a series of cells, room upon room, shut away from all the others."[31] Living rooms were meant to be important social centers, and as such are well lighted and usually the largest room in the house. Dining rooms are often only partially separated from the living room because "a greater sense of space is added and all things that are put in the dining room to make it beautiful contribute to the pleasure of the people who are sitting in the living room."[32]

Other character defining features of the Bungalow house type include a low profile, and a blurring of the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces. Most Bungalows are either one story tall, or at the most, one and one-half.[33] The one and one-half story versions were generally like Burkhardt's brick Bungalows, in that the upper rooms were contained in dormers which expanded the spaces beneath the main roof without raising the overall height. The blending of indoor and outdoor spaces was often done through the generous use of windows, and such things as open porches and dining terraces. The wide front porches of the Burkhardt Bungalows are typical of the genre, and it is very rare to find a Bungalow without a front porch.

Burkhardt was obviously a fan of the Bungalow, and was even aware of subtle stylistic differences. He referred to his elaborate frame Bungalow west of the bank as his "California Bungalow," while the two brick houses in the Burkhardt Historic District were described simply as "my two brick bungalows."[34] He was also involved in the construction of at least one other Bungalow in the neighborhood; the ca.1924 Bierbrauer-Burkhardt house, which is five houses away from the east edge of the district, is a low brick Bungalow with the same type of Craftsman styling, and nearly identical curved brick knee walls on the front steps.

Elaboration: Further History

Burkhardt owned the brick Bungalows and the other buildings in the Burkhardt Historic District from the time they were built until his death in 1934, and his papers show that he continued to build other buildings in the community into the early 1930s, including at least two others in the current district. The 1947 map of the area shows that he also built at least two other buildings there in that time period. One of those was a very small tile building; the other was a small house, which was set near the back of the lot Those buildings are no longer there; their loss constitutes the only notable change to have taken place within Burkhardt Historic District boundaries in the past fifty years.

It appears that the buildings of the Burkhardt Historic District were often occupied by employees of Burkhardt's. As mentioned, the small outbuilding with two front doors was once home to two men who worked at the Post Office. One of the Bungalows was the long-time home of another employee, Henry Sontag. Burkhardt apparently left instructions in his will that Sontag could continue to live there as long as he wished, after which it would pass to Burkhardt's heirs. Sontag stayed on for many years, and helped take care of Lena Burkhardt after Edward's death. It was Henry Sontag who kept track of Edward Burkhardt's papers. The papers were in an old chest of his which was found in the attic of a house in Ballwin by Sontag's nephew, Don Hoffman.[35] The papers found in that old steamer chest offer valuable insight into the life and business dealings of Edward Burkhardt

Burkhardt's papers show that he retained ownership of the Bungalows long after they were built. He referred to the brick Bungalows in a letter written in June of 1927, saying that he had previously borrowed money "to finance two 6 room Bungalows, which I just recently completed at a cost of about $12,000."[36] A later letter shows that he routinely financed those houses for three year terms, and that he was not shy about making sure he got a good deal. When he renewed for another three-year term in 1934, he wrote "I don't like to pay more than 1 per cent commission on this renewal, I meet my obligations very promptly, and I consider this a very safe loan."[37]

That letter was written just a short time before his death. His obituary in 1934 noted that "Edward Burkhardt, one of the best known men in the western part of the county died suddenly Thursday while seated in a chair at his home in Chesterfield."[38] A letter which his sister wrote to him in 1931 indicates that his health had been slipping for a few years before that. She wrote, "it surely makes me sad to ever think that you must go back to the hospital, because 1 am afraid you will not recover."[39]

Edward's widow Lena continued to live in Chesterfield after he died, and was supported at least partly by rental income from the houses he had built. Another letter from Edward's sister inquired how she was getting along, and said "your houses all rented, I hope, of course they are, you said it wasn't hard to get renters." Lena retained ownership of the property, and left the bank and other buildings as they had been when Edward was alive, until her death in 1946. The plat which established the three lots found there today was filed in 1947. That event marked the first time the property had been subdivided since Burkhardt Place was platted in 1918.

Edward Burkhardt had an immense impact upon the development of Chesterfield. He opened one of the first general stores in the area, served as post master for the community for nearly four decades, was instrumental in founding the first bank in town, and played a prominent role in area real estate development. The Burkhardt Historic District buildings constitute one of the most intact groupings of historic resources in the community, and they gain further significance for their strong association with Edward Burkhardt. Burkhardt's influence on the development of Chesterfield was described as "Edward's Legacy" in A Guide to Chesterfield's Architectural Treasures, which noted that the buildings and businesses established by Burkhardt were to "influence Chesterfield life for decades to come."[40]

Endnotes

[1]Dan A. Rothwell, A Guide to Chesterfield's Architectural Treasures, (Chesterfield, MO: 1998) p.31.

[2]Gloria Dalton, ed., Heritage of the Creve Coeur Area, ( St. Louis, MO: Creve Coeur Bicentennial Commission) p.57, and Rothwell, pp.22-23.

[3]Rothwell, p.24.

[4]William Thomas, History of St. Louis County, Missouri, (St. Louis: F. J. Clarke, 1911) p.142.

[5]Rothwell, p.27-31.

[6]Thomas, p.142.

[7]Rothwell, p.30, (1909 map reproduction.)

[8]Thomas, p.142.

[9]Johanna Ruppel's obituary, November, 1947. (From a clipping in the possession of Robert and Edna Franklin of St. Charles, MO.)

[10]Rothwell, p.25.

[11]"Building News," St. Louis Daily Record, May 8, 1914.

[12]"Build Hollow Tile Home," St. Louis Globe Democrat August 7,1912.

[13]Jos. E. Schmitt, "Chesterfield Bank, in 50th Year, Grew from $34,000." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1964.

[14]Schmitt.

[15]See the National Register nomination for the Farmers State Bank of Chesterfield for more information about the bank.

[16]The papers were part of the private collection of Don Hoffman.

[17]Receipt dated Oct. 15,1929, in the Edward Burkhardt papers. (From the private collection of Don Hoffman, Union, MO.).

[18]Edward Burkhardt papers. (From the private collection of Don Hoffman, Union, MO.)

[19]Rothwell, based on dates supplied by Essley Hamilton of the St. Louis Parks Dept. Mr. Hamilton surveyed the area in 1989.

[20]A list of the early owners is included in the Rothwell book.

[21]A historic photo in the possession of Lauren Srutman shows the property from above and to the west.

[22]Rothwell refers to it as the John Schonhorst House, built in the 1880s.

[23]St. Louis County Building Permits #36824 and #36825, July 26,1926.

[24]Lauren Strutman, interview with Don Hoffman, 2-13-00.

[25]St. Louis County Building Permit #52361 September 28,1931.

[26]Alan Gowans, The Comfortable House, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1986) p.74.

[27]Gowans, p.76.

[28]Clay Lancaster, The American Bungalow, (New York: Abbeville Press, 1985) pp.115-135.

[29]Lee and Virginia McAlester, A Field Guide to American Houses, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986) p.454. This source defines bungalows as one story vernacular examples of the Craftsman style.

[30]Gustav Stickley, "The Craftsman Movement: Its Origin and Growth," The Craftsman, Vol. 25 (Oct. 1913-Mar. 1914) p.18.

[31]Gustav Stickley, More Craftsman Homes, (New York: Craftsman Publishing Company, 1912) p.2. and The Craftsman Movement" p.25.

[32]More Craftsman Homes, p.3.

[33]Gowans, p.77.

[34]Letters in the Edward Burkhardt papers, July, 1928, and May 1934.

[35]Mr. Hoffman has been kind enough to loan the papers to Lauren Strutman, one of the property owners in the district.

[36]A letter from Edward Burkhardt to Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, June 2,1927.

[37]A letter to Henry Kerth, Clayton, May 24, 1934.

[38]Undated newspaper clipping in the possession of Robert and Edna Franklin of St. Charles, MO.

[39]Letter from Hazel Burkhardt to Edward Burkhardt, July 26,1931.

[40]Rothwell, p.31.

References

Build Hollow Tile Home," St. Louis Globe Democrat August 7, 1912.

"Building News." St. Louis Daily Record. May 8,1914. (Photocopy provided by Essley Hamilton, St. Louis Park Dept.)

Burkhardt, Edward, papers. (From the private collection of Don Hoffman, Union, MO.)

Dalton, Gloria, ed. Heritage of the Creve Coeur Area. St. Louis, MO: Creve Coeur Bicentennial Commission.

"Farmers State Bank of Chesterfield." History of St. Louis County, MO. St. Louis: St. Louis Watchman Advocate, 1920, p.185.

Gowans, Alan. The Comfortable House. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1986.

Hamilton, Essley. "St. Louis County West Inventory of Historic Buildings Phase Three: Chesterfield."

Survey Report prepared for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation under a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 1989.

Lancaster, Clay. The American Bungalow 1880-1930. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985.

Lauren Strutman, interview with Don Hoffman, 2-13-00.

McAlester, Lee and Virginia. A Field Guide to American Houses, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.

Rothwell, Dan A. A Guide to Chesterfield's Architectural Treasures. Chesterfield, MO: Dan Rothwell, 1998.

Schmitt, Jos. E. "Chesterfield Bank, in 50th Year, Grew from $34,000." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1964.

Stickley, Gustav. "The Craftsman Movement: Its Origin and Growth," The Craftsman, Vol. 25 (Oct. 1913-Mar. 1914.)

________. More Craftsman Homes. New York: Craftsman Publishing Company, 1912.

Thomas, William L. History of St. Louis County, Missouri. St. Louis: F. J. Clarke, 1911.

BOUNDARY INCREASE

Summary: The Burkhardt Historic District (Boundary Increase I) adds a row of 10 residential properties to the eastern edge of the original Burkhardt Historic District. The Burkhardt Historic District, which was listed 8/31/2000, contains a two story commercial building, two brick Bungalows, and related outbuildings. Like the properties in the original Burkhardt Historic District, all of the lots in the boundary increase are located on the south side of Chesterfield Airport Road (originally Olive Street Road), in Chesterfield, Missouri. They are also all part of the Burkhardt Place Subdivision, which was platted in 1918 by Edward and Lena Burkhardt. The original Burkhardt Historic District boundaries are based upon Lot 12 of the Burkhardt Place, which was the Burkhardts' private property during the period of significance. Lot 12 is also by far the largest of the 12 lots in the subdivision. The increase adds all of the remaining intact properties within that subdivision, and the revised boundaries now include all except for one lot of Burkhardt Place. (The excluded lot now contains a ca.1970s commercial building.) The 10 lots within the boundary increase are much smaller than Lot 12, and each contains one small house. All except for one of the lots also has a small outbuilding, for a total of 10 houses and 9 outbuildings. Of those 19 new buildings, 15 are contributing; there are 8 contributing houses and 7 contributing outbuildings. Most of those buildings utilize structural ceramic tile and brick construction, and many, if not all, of the houses were built from standardized plans. Overall, the buildings of the expanded Burkhardt Historic District constitute a notably intact collection of resources; they represent one of the largest groupings of intact historic resources in Chesterfield. Of the 25 buildings found there, 6 are already listed as contributing resources and an additional 15 are counted as contributing. In total, the expanded Burkhardt Historic District contains 7 previously listed buildings, 6 of which are contributing, and 19 buildings which have not been listed. Buildings in the boundary increase date from ca.1918 and ca.1925, which is within the Burkhardt Historic District's 1914-1934 period of significance.

Elaboration: The Burkhardt Historic District sits at the intersection of two busy roads, in a largely commercial area. Baxter Road, which is just west of the original Burkhardt Historic District, is a wide arterial street which was built in 1998. The land immediately west of that street slopes steeply up from the roadway, and is undeveloped. Chesterfield Airport Road, which was originally Olive Street Road, is also a fairly wide, busy street. The Burkhardt Historic District runs along the south side of Chesterfield Airport Road, with Baxter Road on the west and Santa Maria Drive on the east. The area covered by the boundary increase is on the east side of the original Burkhardt Historic District. All of the buildings in the boundary increase sit on level ground; the land rises steeply to a wooded hillside at the back of the lots, usually just south of any outbuildings.

The original Burkhardt Historic District includes two nearly identical brick houses, and the increase adds ten more residences. The houses in the expanded Burkhardt Historic District are almost all Bungalows with at least some Craftsman styling, and most appear to have been built from pattern book plans. Several of the houses, in fact, share the exact same plan and form, and were probably nearly identical when new. There are three house plans that were used for more than one house in the Burkhardt Historic District. All are relatively modest Bungalows, and most are of brick or tile construction. The plans have been assigned letters for ease of discussion.

Bungalow "Plan A" is one story tall with a low hipped roof, a large hip-roofed front dormer, and a full width front porch. There are three houses which utilize that plan, all of which are located at the east end of the Burkhardt Historic District. One, the house at 16626 Chesterfield Airport Road (lot 2) is of frame construction; it is one of only two frame dwellings in the Burkhardt Historic District, and the only contributing building that has frame construction. That house has a wide front porch that has brick piers topped by tapered square brick posts. The other two houses that use "Plan A" are nearly identical, with brick and tile walls, and square brick porch posts. The houses at 16626, 16630, and 16636 Chesterfield Airport Road exemplify plan A.

Bungalow "Plan B" is one and one-half stories tall, with a side-gabled roof, centered front dormer and a smaller front porch. These houses have a smaller footprint than those from plan A houses, and they are taller. Their front walls are nearly one and one-half stories tall. The centered front porches are sheltered by an extension of the main gable roof, and all are supported by tapered posts, which sit upon tall brick piers. The houses at 16644, 16646, and 16650 exemplify plan B.

Bungalow "Plan C" is the largest and most highly styled of the three. That plan is for a larger dwelling, with a wide side-gabled roof and a wide gabled dormer. The plan includes a deep, full-width front porch which features square brick posts and a solid brick wall for a porch railing. The houses at 16662 and 16666, which are within the original Burkhardt Historic District boundaries, exemplify plan C.

The enlarged Burkhardt Historic District gains further visual cohesion from similar lot sizes and very uniform front set-backs. All ten of the houses being added, as well as the two that are already listed, are set back the same distance from the road. All of the outbuildings in the boundary increase are set well behind the houses, at the backs of the lots, and most properties in the increase have simple gravel driveways that run along the sides of the houses.

Significance

Summary: The boundary of the Burkhardt Historic district is being increased because additional information has revealed a close connection between the original district properties and the row of modest residences located east of the current district boundary. The original Burkhardt Historic District was listed 8/31/2000 for its association with Edward Burkhardt, and for its architecture. Additional research, which was spurred by a growing local interest in historic preservation, has revealed that the houses within the boundary increase were also associated with Burkhardt and his wife, Lena. Like the original Burkhardt Historic District, the buildings of the Burkhardt Historic District (Boundary Increase I) are significant under National Register Criterion B, in the area of Community Planning and Development, for their association with Edward and Lena Burkhardt, and under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture. Burkhardt was a long-time local businessman who had a major impact upon the business and residential development of Chesterfield in the early 20th century. He and his wife Lena were also very active in real estate development; one source credited Edward with building 17 of the 30 buildings in town at one point.[1] Many of those buildings were located in Burkhardt Place, a subdivision he and Lena platted in 1918. The new boundaries of the Burkhardt Historic District encompass most of that original plat. Almost all of the buildings in Burkhardt Place were constructed by or for Edward and Lena Burkhardt, and many of the properties remained in their possession for decades; they retained ownership of many of them throughout the period of significance, and Lena Burkhardt owned 6 of the 12 original lots in Burkhardt Place at the time of her death in 1946.

The buildings of the boundary increase are also significant in the area of Architecture; Burkhardt Place is home to one of the largest groupings of intact early 20th century buildings left in Chesterfield today. Of the 19 buildings within the boundary increase, 15 are contributing; there are 8 contributing houses and 7 contributing outbuildings. The buildings in the boundary increase include good representative examples of the Bungalow house type, which was extremely popular locally and nationally in the 1920s and 1930s. Also, like the two houses within the existing Burkhardt Historic District, those houses reflect the use of standardized plans; six of the eight contributing houses within the boundary increase were built from similar sets of plans. The period of significance for the existing district runs from 1914, the construction date of the bank, which is the oldest building there, to 1946, the year of Lena Burkhardt's death. The buildings of the boundary increase were all built within that period of significance, and, along with the previously listed properties, they clearly convey a sense of their time and place.

Elaboration: The expanded boundaries of the Burkhardt Historic District encompass all intact portions of Burkhardt Place, which represents a major portion of local property to be developed by Edward and Lena Burkhardt in the early 20th century. The buildings of Burkhardt Place have survived largely intact, in spite of tremendous amounts of recent development in the area. They are today one of the largest collections of intact historic resources left in the modern city of Chesterfield. They are particularly significant as the intact surviving core of "Old Chesterfield," the village that grew up around the railroad depot and Edward Burkhardt's general store. As noted in an architectural survey of Chesterfield which was conducted in 1989: "Old Chesterfield is the largest and best preserved of the four crossroads communities that have been subsumed by the new municipality of Chesterfield. It has an old store, a former bank, a church, and a whole row of bungalows from the 1920's."[2] The original boundaries of the Burkhardt Historic District include the bank and two of those houses, and the boundary increase encompasses the rest of that "whole row of bungalows."

The buildings within the boundary increase gain further significance for their strong association with Edward and Lena Burkhardt. Edward and Lena Burkhardt had an immense impact upon the development of Chesterfield in the early 20th century. Edward opened one of the first general stores in the area, served as post master for the community for nearly four decades, was instrumental in founding the first bank in town, and he and Lena together played a prominent role in developing Burkhardt Place. The Burkhardts appear to have built as many as eight of the ten houses located within the boundary increase, and Lena Burkhardt owned three of those at the time of her death in 1946. (Edward Burkhardt died in the 1930s, after which their joint real estate passed to Lena's ownership.) Burkhardt's influence on the development of Chesterfield was described as "Edward's Legacy" in A Guide to Chesterfield's Architectural Treasures, which noted that the buildings and businesses established by the Burkhardts were to "influence Chesterfield life for decades to come."[3] Burkhardt Place continues to reflect that function today.

Endnotes

  1. Dan A. Rothwell, A Guide to Chesterfield's Architectural Treasures, (Chesterfield, MO: 1998) p.31.
  2. Esley Hamilton, "St. Louis County West Inventory of Historic Buildings; Part Three: Chesterfield," Typescript on file with the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, 1989.
  3. Rothwell, p.31.

References

"Arthur Bierbrauer Died Longtime Local Resident," April 1976 clipping in the possession of Lauren Strutman.

"Build Hollow Tile Home," St. Louis Globe Democrat August 7, 1912.

"Building News." St. Louis Daily Record. May 8, 1914. (Photocopy provided by Esley Hamilton, St. Louis Park Dept.)

Burkhardt, Edward, papers. (From the private collection of Don Hoffman, Union, MO.)

Dalton, Gloria, ed. Heritage of the Creve Coeur Area. St. Louis, MO: Creve Coeur Bicentennial Commission.

"Farmers State Bank of Chesterfield." History of St. Louis County, MO. St. Louis: St. Louis 'Watchman Advocate, $920, p.185.

Gowans, Alan. The Comfortable House. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1986.

Hamilton, Esley. "St. Louis County West Inventory of Historic Buildings; Part Three: Chesterfield," Typescript on file with the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, 1989.

Lancaster, Clay. The American Bungalow 1880-1930. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985.

Lauren. Strutman, interview with Don Hoffman, 2-13-00.

McAlester, Lee and Virginia. A Field Guide to American Houses, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.

Rothwell, Dan A. A Guide to Chesterfield's Architectural Treasures. Chesterfield, MO: Dan Rothwell, 1998.

Schmitt, Jos. E. "Chesterfield Bank, in 50th Year, Grew from $34,000." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1964.

Stickley, Gustav. "The Craftsman Movement: Its Origin and Growth," The Craftsman, Vol. 25 (Oct. 1913-Mar. 1914.)

Thomas, William L. History of St. Louis County. Missouri. St. Louis: F.J. Clarke, 1911.

† Debbie Sheals, independent contractor, Burkhardt Historic District, and Burkhardt Historic District Boundary Increase, nomination documents, 2000 & 2005, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Burkhardt Historic District Map

Street Names
Chesterfield Airport Road

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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