Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Hall Street Historic District

St Joseph City, Buchanan County, MO

The Hall Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]


The Hall Street Historic District is known for the mansions which line Hall Street. There is one other mansion in the area located on 8th Street. The area also includes a number of larger homes, not of mansion size but impressive none the less. There are several small homes and no less than four homes built as duplexes. Very few of the mansions or large homes remain as single family dwellings; however, conversion into multiple dwellings has for the most part been done with taste and does not constitute objectionable intrusions.

Developing along the crest of a river bluff and extending south down toward the rapidly growing town center of the late 19th century, these homes command a spectacular view. Those along Hall Street and at the top of 7th and 8th Streets have spacious yards, befitting their size and respectability. Several of the mansions and larger homes have carriage houses, which generally complement their main houses in construction material and style. Because of their geographical location and placement to the streets, many residences especially along Hall Street have stone retaining walls, some quite decorative. Early homes were built sporadically throughout the Hall Street Historic District, with the ones of later dates filling in around them. An 1870 home may stand next to a 1910 one, giving an eclectic quality to the neighborhood. However, a tone of general prosperity of the original structures lends the Hall Street Historic District its cohesive quality.

The Hall Street Historic District, which owes its significance not only to its architectural character but also to its place in the history of St. Joseph's economic grandeur, includes the following buildings.

The Karl Schatz House, 518 N. 7th, is a brick structure built circa 1880 in an Italianate style. A deep horizontal cornice overhangs the front building line, and below the cornice is a frieze with dentils. The one story raised porch has an entablature with an applied sawtooth motif in the frieze. Its roof is supported on paired chamfered columns with carpenter detailing at the base and capitals. The porch rail is supported by scrollwork balusters. Window openings on the main facade have arched hoods of raised brick with label stops, which end at the impost level.

The Rolanda Court Apartments, 602 N. 7th, were built circa 1910 as a duplex and have been converted to eight apartments. The eclectic mixture of motifs on what is essentially a symmetrical Georgian Revival facade has witnessed little alteration over the years. The exterior is unchanged except for removal of a cornice. The rusticated stone quoins are very pronounced as well as the pediments of the central bay of the main facade on the 1st and 2nd levels. The pediment on the second story shows paired Italianate brackets beneath the cornice. This pediment and cornice have a carved motif in the dentil band. The pediment over the porch has imbricated shingles, typical of the Queen Anne style, and a denticulated raking cornice. The porch roof is supported on Tuscan columns. The High Victorian Italianate window and door hoods have projecting keystones; all are embellished with intaglio carving, and corbelled label stops.

The Finis and Claribel Albright McClain House, 610 N. 7th, was built during the 1870's and has been converted to apartments. The attenuated red window openings have wood entablature heads. The building has been covered with composition siding that gives it a vernacular appearance. The porch, which wraps around the east and south first story facades, is supported by Tuscan columns and has a pediment which defines the entrance. A transom with sidelights surrounds the main entrance. The dominant projecting cornice at the eave may originally have been supported by modillions or brackets.

The Chase-McClain House, 614 N. 7th, a Second Empire style residence for the 1870's, was built for Dr. George Washington Chase, the founder of the Chase Candy Company. Although it is not a mansion in size, it was constructed as a stately residence with many special architectural features. Projecting from the mansard roof, the wall dormers on the second story are covered by either semi-circular hoods or triangular pediments, with engaged pilasters flanking the windows. The windows are four-over-four light and appear to be original. On the first story there is a bay window on the east side of the house. The main roof and the bay window cornices contain heavily detailed brackets. The windows in the bay, which are attenuated and form an arcade motif, are separated by cabled, engaged columns with a panelled frieze above. The small raised one story porch on the south side is supported by one Tuscan column and has dentils beneath the cornice.

The interior of the residence contains many unique features, including leaded glass windows, a built-in door bell (patented December 1867), wood parquet floors throughout the main floor, and a canvas covered ceiling in the parlor which has been stenciled. All the rooms of the first floor have 11 foot ceilings. The parlor fireplace with its mantel extending almost to the ceiling, has vari-colored inlaid marble in the hearth. In the 6 foot wide main hall, the lower walls, extending up 4 foot from the floor, are covered with decorative Lincrusto Walton, while the upper parts are covered with painted canvas. Several of the original gas chandeliers remain though they have been converted to electricity. At the far end of the central hall is a circular stairway built of black walnut. An early intercom system between floors consisting of a metal speaking tube is intact.

A small, non-conforming building is at the rear of the lot.

The John Forest Martie House, 624 N. 7th, is a remodeled Italianate structure from circa 1870, which has been converted from a single family dwelling to an apartment complex. It originally had very decorative arched lintels, but these were covered with stucco, leaving only the keystone in each segmental arch visible. The boxed cornice has paired decorative brackets. Supported by columns, the small pedimented porch roof with striking returns covers an entrance which has a stained glass transom and the original door and lock. Besides this obviously later addition, there appears to be an addition on the south side of the house, but it is covered with stucco and is therefore not prominent, and an alteration on the northeast corner of the house to form an exterior apartment entrance. The window openings are all 9-over-1 except for a large oval beveled glass window with a semi-circular head on the north facade at the landing level of the stairs. On the interior, the chandeliers are original and the four fireplaces have their original mantels.

A small, non-conforming structure is at the rear of the lot.

The Oak Ridge Apartments, 702-704 N. 7th, a vernacular style building, were constructed in 1890. The alterations to the house include an addition on the rear and composition siding on the exterior. The windows are six-over-one and have wooden surrounds. The raised one-story porch, extending the length of the main facade, is supported by panelled rectangular columns.

The C.D. Smith-Catholic Chancery-Wright Nursing Home, 718 N. 7th, is an Italianate style residence, built by C.D. Smith, a wholesale druggist. Prominent exterior features include a wide cornice and deep, heavily banded fascia. Elaborate scroll work brackets support the cornice, complemented by smaller scroll-like modillions. There are two story bay windows on the north and south facades. Openings include semi-circular, segmental, or flat-topped arches, and all are surmounted by hoodmolds of raised brick. Projecting keystones are of carved stone. The chimneys feature raised panels of brick below belt courses. A large porch, which curves around the northeast corner of the structure is supported by paired Romanesque columns with terra cotta capitals. These columns rest on brick piers with open brickwork forming the balustrade. The stairways and millwork of the interior have not been altered.

The James H. Robinson-William W. Wheeler House, 631 Hall, a Chateauesque style house built in 1883 by Adam Schuster for his daughter, changed hands several times before finally selling for $15,000 in 1904. This residence has a high pitched roof with dormers that are topped by triangular pediments. On the west facade there is a bow window with curved glass on the first story, and an open porch above, topped by a conical roof which ends in a highly decorative finial. Most windows are divided by a transom bar with stained glass transoms.

Other exterior features of note include the extensive use of decorative glass work, curved glass windows, the ornamental banding at each story, the use of many floral and figurative panels and inserts, the elaborately carved hoodmolds at all openings, and the heavily modeled cornice of stylized classical motifs. The porch on the main facade has paired, polished, pink granite columns with Corinthian capitals. Contrasting to the smooth precise quality of the wall covering, the applied decoration exhibits a combination of rich forms. The belt course includes vermiculated stone work, smooth rectangular panels, and scrolls cut into the smooth stone at the chimney wings. The first story window hoods repeat this scroll pattern as well as cut rosettes which have an Eastlake quality. These hoods are capped by large engaged finials which extend into the belt course. Dentils are cut into the stone rather than applied to it. In the second story windows both the rosettes and dentils again appear, however, the cap which does not support a finial, is ornately carved. The projecting chimneys add more surface decoration with the use of cut panels, floral panels, scrolls, and grotesque mascarons. At the arched openings the dentil band follows the semi-circular line of the arch, and the radiating voussoirs are well defined.

All architectural features are richly embellished as is characteristic of the style: i.e. chimney stacks are heavily carved and ornamented, and terminate in elaborately corbelled and panelled caps. The southeast corner of the building is accented by a small, round turret. Its rich surface texture is created through combining smooth wall surfaces; arched niches filled with vermiculated stonework; and belt courses of exaggerated vermiculation, rosettes, or a nailhead motif. The stylized cornice of the main structure follows around the top of the turret, which is capped by a gored onion dome and a large finial which repeats the denticulated band and the bulbous form of the dome.

Outstanding interior details include stained glass and bevel cut windows, often with curved glazing which permits unusual room shapes, beveled panelling with carved and turned woodwork, fireplaces with glazed tile architraves of depletive designs, and parquet floors. The foyer contains stoke-on-trent tile, and the 11 foot doors have glazed transoms. All the hardware is of heavy cast and chased bronze.

The sitting room in the southeast corner of the second floor was rebuilt in the early 1950's by extending it out over the front porch. A small extension was added at the northwest end of the second floor to enlarge a space for a small bath.

To the rear of the residence is a large brick carriage house which is three bays wide. Each doorway is topped with a straight-sided segmental arch of raised brick and is fitted with a wooden and glass overhead garage door. The outside corners of the building, including those of the slightly projecting center bay, have raised brick quoins.

Several non-conforming structures are also on the property. They include the open carport attached to the carriage house, a structure to the west and north of the carriage house, and a rectangular structure at the far north end of the property.

The Farber-Schuster-Farrish House, 703 Hall, is in the Italianate style, designed by L.S. Stigers and built in the 1878-1881 period. Mr. Stigers was also the designer of the Patee House (National Historic Landmark) in the 1850's. Carved sandstone laid over brick partially covers the structure. The sandstone is also used to create quoins on the corners of the first story and pilasters on the second story. Emphasized by decorative keystones, the windows have both segmental and semi-circular arched heads supported by engaged columns. The second story window above the entrance porch has an elaborately molded hood supported by engaged columns over its semi-circular head. The porch on the main facade (south), which is flanked by the two-story bay windows, has curved arches which are supported by engaged columns attached to square panelled columns. The belt course of the main structure continues across the porch as its cornice. Large fancy consoles appear beneath the cornice, and heavy block finials ornament its roof. Raised, one story porches extend across the east and west facades. Slender columns support the roof which has modillions in the cornice, and the porch rail sits atop turned balusters. The porch of the east facade has been enclosed and a second story enclosed porch has been added. At the building's roof line the sandstone is shaped into a decorative entablature with modillions, carved dentils, and a panelled frieze. Gabled dormers in the roof are topped with a pediment supported by decorative brackets and columns. There is a cupola located centrally on the roof, from which all of the downtown area is visible. Its paired, round arched windows repeat the decorative motifs of the first story windows. Panelled pilasters support a wide modillioned cornice with a deep overhang, which is topped by ornate iron cresting. The roof is truncated hip with slate shingles and a tin deck bordered by the same cresting as used on the cupola.

The interior woodwork is of walnut and the doors are hung with brass hinges. There are 30 large rooms, with identical floor plans on all three levels. The interior walls are brick covered with plaster. Each room on the first and second floors has a fireplace with elaborate mantels and tiles: i.e. the tiles around the firebox in the library depict Shakespearean plays, the music room's wood mantel has painted illustrations of musical instruments, painted floral motifs decorate the living room fireplace, and in the dining room decorative oak wood carvings are of griffons and Italian motifs. Later a brick, vaulted ceiling room was constructed underground and adjacent to the house to house a steam boiler.

A large brick carriage house stands to the north of the residence. It has a truncated hip roof with an attic wall dormer covered by a jerkinhead gable roof. Its architectural features include a wide frieze with brackets and the segmental and semi-circular window heads. A belt course continuing between and over the windows forms hood molds, and the rectangular transoms contain decorative glass work.

The Wesley Cummings House, 801 Hall was built in 1898 in a modified Second Empire style. The house still retains decorative lintels over the windows on the first and second story levels, which appear to be of cast iron set into the brick walls. The projecting, two story chamfered central bay is capped by a mansard roof with a dormer and contains the main entrance. Above this entrance, which is protected by an elliptical canopy supported on columns, is a pair of windows divided by a mullion, and capped by a pediment-shaped hoodmold. The windows in the attic level have decorative brackets on each side which support a segmental arched pediment. All the windows are two-over-two light, except for those in the central bay which are one-over-one. Below the projecting cornice, which follows the chamfered angles of the center bay and repeats the segmental pediment form, is a dentil course with ornate brackets at periodic intervals.

There is a limestone retaining wall along the Hall Street side of the property. To the rear of the residence is a large, hip roof, brick garage with a wide hip roof dormer containing ribbon type windows. In between the residence and the garage is a non-conforming wooden garage with a pent roof.

The Cummings Ogden House, 809 Hall Street, was built in 1885. This Chateauesque style house is massive in style and irregular in plan with a complex, steeply-pitched roof line, which is accentuated by ornate ridge cresting and finials. Adding to this complex silhouette are elaborately decorated attic dormers, gable ends, and parapet gables. The dormers have triangular pediments with decorative consoles and pilaster-like moldings flanking each window. This pedimental motif is repeated in the gable ends over small windows flanked by consoles. Low relief sculpture is used in both areas. Parapet gables end in either a chimney stack or in ornate carving at their peaks and bouquet finials. Chimney stacks have smooth, vertical panels topped by several molded courses and end in decorative chimney pots. Two-story bay windows are on the east and south facades: an engaged conical roof which extends up the face of the parapet gable wall tops the south bay window; a chimney forms part of the east bay window with its stack projecting from the sloping roof of the bay. Most windows are divided by a transom bar with stained glass used in the transom.

A wide range of surface textures cover the structure as is characteristic of the style. Constructed of quarry faced limestone, several decorative features appear in a smooth-faced cut stone, such as the quoins and window surrounds, string courses in the second story, and the complete wall surface of the first story of the south bay window, the front porch and the porte cochere. A great deal of decorative cut stone is used on the building, including panels on chimneys and the porch and porte cochere. Ornate carving also appears on the south bay window between the second story transoms and in the wide belt course running beneath the second story windows which contains a foliate pattern and mascarons. The use of buttresses, polished granite columns with elaborately carved capitals, and molded segmental arched dripstones with deeply carved bosses on the south facade add to the rich texturing. The close cropped, but finely decorated cornices, complement the exaggeration of textures used in the building materials.

On the north and to the rear of the residence is a two-story structure which probably served as the carriage house. It has been converted to apartments and extensively remodeled on the exterior. However, the basic structure is still apparent under the truncated hip roof. Now covered with a random ashlar stone siding, the original brick building had segmental arched openings with raised brick headers.

The Colbert House, 819 Hall Street, a red brick Italianate style structure, was built prior to the war between the states. The porch which originally extended across the front and sides of the house has been reduced. There are several additions to the rear. Capped by a low pitched hip roof, the main facade extends around the southwest corner to form the projecting two story bay on the west facade. This chamfered bay contains an end chimney flanked by two large windows with ornate leaded glass work. On the east facade there is a projecting rectangular bay. The windows in the main building have segmentally arched, molded hoods ending in decorative label stops, and stone lug sills supported by two small brackets. Other windows have segmental arched brick headers and stone lug sills. The cornice is supported by ornate, paired brackets with dentils in between. The railing over the one story porch is accented with corner and intermediate posts topped with urn finials.

On the south side of the lot facing Hall Street, there is a limestone retaining wall with a pair of lions topping the steps which lead to the residence. A two story carriage house sits to the north and east of the residence at the rear of the lot.

The Miller Apartments, 823 Hall Street, is a vernacular structure based on a modified Box form. The brick exterior has been covered with stucco to give a stark geometric appearance. The windows are grouped with three-over-one lights. Features include a low hipped roof, single projecting boxed cornice, cantilevered canopies over the entrances. A one story screened-in porch projects from the west facade.

The Bender-Marlin House, 824 Hall Street, was built in 1889, and appears as Queen Anne in plan and elevation; however, in construction material and decoration it has a Romanesque Revival quality. The asymmetrical plan makes extensive use of corbelled and raised brick. The segmental arches above all windows and doors on both stories are straight-sided, using raised brick for accent, and are joined by a string course of the same decorative brickwork. There is also a plain, projecting brick sill course on both the first and second stories. Corbelled brick is used in the chimneys and beneath the eaves. There are transoms above the wide windows on the north and east facades; only the north window retains its original stained glass. The one story pent roof porch which wraps around the northeast corner of the structure has a great deal of carpenter trim, including a latticework frieze between turned post and spindle balusters in the balustrade. On the northeast corner, the front door is set into a two-story projecting bay capped with a pyramidal roof. This grants entry to a hand carved interior stairway. Throughout the residence, natural burled maple woodwork predominates, and recessed sliding doors separate the major rooms. Two rooms on the east side of the house have been altered by being combined to form one large room.

The Francis Studer House, 822 Hall Street, is the only example of a working man's house in the Hall Street Historic District. Built in the 1880's, this small modest brick, painted white, vernacular residence lacks decorative architectural details. The windows have stone lugsills and segmental arched brick heads. A later addition, the front porch is supported by brick piers and iron columns.

The Bill Osgood House, 802 Hall Street, was designed by Harvey Ellis and built by Eckel and Mann in 1890 for Alfred T. Smith, a prominent wholesale merchant. The architect used a variety of materials and forms to call attention to this outstanding structure which has both Chateauesque and Romanesque elements. A steeply-pitched hip roof, wall dormers, parapet gable, chimney stacks, and the conical roofs of the towers and turret join to form a complex roof line over the main rectangular block of the building. The main facade (N) is asymmetric. The entrance is reached by curvilinear steps flanking the raised porch which has inset squat, polished granite columns with decorative terra cotta capitals. A modest Romanesque arcaded railing sits atop the one story porch. A cross window at the second-story level and a stepped wall dormer which contains a window with a semi-circular transom completes the vertical emphasis of the entrance. To the right of the entrance, on the northwest corner of the structure, is a large circular tower. Its third-story windows have semi-circular transoms and curved balconies with ornate iron railings. On the northeast corner is a round turret. A large parapet gable, which dominates the west facade, contains a third-story arcaded gallery with pink granite columns topped by ornate terra cotta capitals. The arcade motif of the north porch is repeated on the parapet of the porte cochere projecting from the west facade. In the tower which contains the stairwell on the east facade, there is a complex, curvilinear, twelve-unit stained glass window. A bay window topped by an arcaded parapet also projects from the east facade. Decorative elements on the massive brick structure include the use of shaped brick at the window openings, lintels over windows formed from rusticated limestone blocks, and a belt course of the same material connecting the lintels of the second story windows. The windows of the wall dormers and the large tower on the northwest corner have segmental arched heads of brick. The large chimney stacks have corbelled brick at their upper parts. Ornate finials accentuate the roof line.

Some interior rooms have curved windows that are accented by heavy columns and a spindle frieze. There are eleven fireplaces with tile and marble fronts. The rich millwork, which includes both mahogany and golden oak, is in excellent condition. There is a ballroom on the third floor of the residence.

A carriage house converted into a six-unit apartment complex sits to the south and east of the residence.

The E.H. Lindsay Duplex, 639-641 N. 8th, was built in 1905 in the typical Box form for Ernest M. Lindsay. On the west facade, three dormers, projecting from the bellcast hip roof, have alternating hip-pediment-hip roofs. The enclosed porch at the second story is an addition. The one story porch extending the length of the residence is now supported on brick columns. There is evidence that they were originally Ionic columns. A wide plain frieze and architrave accentuate the porch and eave line. Leaded glass is used in some window transoms.

The E.H. Lindsay Duplex, 635-637 N. 8th, built in 1905 shows some similarities to its neighbor due to the fact that the contractor, D.D. Semple, was the same for both structures. Here, however, the asymmetrical facade of this duplex is accentuated by the Flemish gable wall dormer on the west facade which has an ornate parapet. A second-story oval window is embellished with exaggerated keystones on cross axis. Alterations to the structure include the enclosed porch at the second story and the enclosure of part of the first-story porch. This porch is supported by both Doric columns and rectangular brick columns.

A one-story, five-car garage at the rear of the lot and to the south of the house is a non-conforming structure.

The Ketcham-Wallace-Orr-Ide House, 603-605 N. 8th, is an example of the eclecticism of this period. Built in 1894 by Mr. Ketcham, its predominant motifs are from the Georgian Revival style. The palladian window in the projecting central bay has brick surrounds; other windows have soldier arches. The two eyebrow dormers call attention to the pediment, in the middle of which is an elliptical window with star-shaped muntins. The pediment is covered with wood shingles and has brackets in the raking cornice. Asymmetry is introduced by the two-story bay window that forms the southwest third of the main facade. The porch, running the full length of the main facade, is supported by paired Tuscan columns. A wide plain frieze and architrave are predominant at the porch and eave line.

A barn to the east of the residence has been converted to a three-car garage and is a non-conforming structure.

The Herschel Bartlett-Parker House, 537 N. 8th, was built in 1888 and designed by Harvey Ellis. Irregularity of plan and massing, and variety of color and texture characterize this Queen Anne house. There is a great deal of terra cotta decorative trim used in the belt course of the tower, as well as under the cornice. This rich trim is also found around windows, on the chimneys, and as panels on the tower. The chimneys are tall with elaborate decoration, including corbel led brickwork. The rejecting gables at attic level have wood ornamentation, imitative of half timbering, and are supported by fan brackets. A bay window sits below each of these gables. There is an octagonal tower on the southwest corner capped with a steeply pitched roof and a small copper finial similar to the one which tops the hip roof over the main block of the residence.

The front porch has a small pediment with terra cotta detailing over the main entrance, and is supported by Tuscan columns which rest on brick pedestals.

A large two-story carriage house with the same materials sits at the rear of the lot, east of the residence.

The Askin House, 521-529 N. 8th, has had few changes since its construction in 1863; only a small room added to the rear. The shutters are new, but duplicate those as shown in an earlier photo of the residence. Each window is topped by brick, segmental headers. The small pedimented, Neo-classical porches on the west facade are supported by Tuscan columns and protect the entrances which have transoms and sidelights. There is an eyebrow window in the truncated hip roof.

The high-banked yard is retained by a field stone wall.

The Gotz House, 528-530 N. 8th, is a remodeled brick Italianate style structure built circa 1900, which has been converted into apartments. This house has quoins made of raised brick and a plain boxed cornice with paired brackets which overlap the architrave molding, located periodically along the roofline. Topped by heavy hoods with decorative keystones, raised moldings, and corbelled stops, the windows are attenuated and have lugsills supported by small scroll brackets. The two front porches have elaborate carpenter scroll work friezes as well as dentils at the first and second story roof lines. These porches are supported by decorative engaged columns along the walls, but have plain rectangular columns at the free-standing corners, which might indicate an alteration.

Missouri Methodist Hospital-Huggins House, 600 N. 8th, is an eclectic style Box form house with Classical Revival decorative elements constructed around 1908. The roof of this house has triangular pedimented dormers with pilasters. Each dormer has a set of paired windows and double half-circle decorative moldings above the windows. Segmental brick arches with cutstone skewbacks top the windows of the first and second-story windows; the double windows also have decorative keystones and mullions. An accentuated string course connects the window hoods in the second story accomplished by the use of a sawtooth brick pattern. Corbelled brickwork appears under the eaves. The porch entablature, complete with dentils and a wide plain frieze is supported by Ionic columns set in pairs. The porch wraps around the southeast corner of the structure. There is a transom over the double front door and some stained glass used in the windows of the first story.

Missouri Methodist Hospital-Dr. Williams House, 602-604 N. 8th, is a 1908 Queen Anne style house which has had extensive exterior alterations. In covering the exterior with aluminum siding, most of the decorative details were hidden. There is a tower, with a conical roof topped with a finial, on the northeast corner of the residence, with an open porch on the third story. One side porch still retains its ornate quality with turned columns supporting the roof; another shows scrollwork brackets. There are stained glass transoms above the attenuated windows on the first story.

W.N. Bartlett-Potter House, 610 N. 8th, is a Federal Revival style residence built circa 1870. The facade is symmetrical under a gable roof. A cross gable intersecting roof has a tripart attic window with a pent roof intersecting the gable face. The main gable of the house covers a projecting two-story bay on the north. Located in a one-story projecting porch, the entrance, flanked by sidelights surmounted by an elliptical transom with radiating muntins, creates a vestibule. The windows are slightly attenuated and wooden surrounds with entablatured wood lintels. The house has been covered by asbestos siding.

The Lamantia House, 624 N. 8th, is a frame house built in the 1880's. The residence is an asymmetric vernacular building with very little architectural detailing. A two-story gable faces the street. Entrance is from a one-story side porch supported by Tuscan columns into a one-story gable roofed addition with a shed roofed lean-to. The variant window trims at the single-story ell and the pent roof at the rear indicate probable additions. The house is covered with asbestos siding.

The Enright House, 630 N. 8th, is a Classical Box style with Colonial Revival motifs. Built in 1907, the residence has a near symmetric facade under a hip roof. The single, centered dormer has a classical pediment over millwork details which simulate columns and an entablature. All major wall openings in the main facade are divided into a large center light flanked by narrow sidelights, separated by attenuated engaged Tuscan columns supporting an entablature under the transoms. Sidelights have round headed upper sashes; transoms are filled with a diamond shaped design formed by curvilinear muntins. The one-story porch, which extends the full length of the main facade and is topped by a wooden balustrade, repeats the classical motifs of the Tuscan columns and entablature.

A one-story brick carriage house has been converted to a two-car garage and an apartment above. The building is capped by a mansard roof with hip roof dormers projecting on several sides. There is one pent roofed dormer at the landing level of the stairs. Openings on the first story have brick soldier course lintels. This structure sits to the north and west of the residence.

During the writing of this nomination the Missouri Methodist Hospital proposed the destruction of two structures within the Hall Street Historic District to make way for parking lots: the Missouri Methodist Hospital-Huggins House at 600 N. 8th and the Missouri Methodist Hospital-Dr. Williams House at 602-604 N. 8th. The local neighborhood organization fought this decision and proposed alternatives to the Hospital Board of Trustees. However, as of April 13, 1979, the razing of the house at 600 N. 8th Street began.


The Hall Street Historic District is, significant for its concentration of imposing residential buildings which are excellent examples of Post Civil War 19th century and early 20th century architectural styles including Italianate, Second Empire, Chateauesque, Romanesque, Revival, Queen Anne, Neo-classical Revival and eclectic. These homes have additional significance as the residences of the "Merchant Princes" of St. Joseph's Golden Age. Located just to the south and east of the Hall Street Historic District stood the Market Square Historic District, its commercial counterpart. New prosperity flourished in the 1870's, 1880's and the 1890's; the great wholesale houses and associated banks supported the families that built and/or lived in the fine homes of Hall Street Historic District. With much of the Market Square area destroyed by Urban Renewal projects, the significance of this area increases as it serves as a reminder of the late 19th century wealth and culture of the city. During the first quarter of the 20th century, large homes continued to be built which created a greater density and cohesive quality to the neighborhood. Recognizing the significance of an area which reflects both commercial and cultural wealth, the structures of this prestigious area are now afforded, protection under a city ordinance designating it as the St. Joseph Historic District Number One.

Hall Street Historic District is a part of the city which was annexed to the Original Town between 1855 and 1873.[1] The earlier date is just 11 years after the plat of the Original Town was registered by Joseph Robidoux and six years after the municipal government was formed. Hall Street, which is on the crest of the bluff to the north of the original settlement, was named for Col. Samuel C. Hall. Hall, who was the first Justice of the Peace in Buchanan County, preempted the Northeast quarter of Section 8, Township 57, Range 35. The preemption certificate is #1842.[2] The area in this quarter section is that bounded by 6th Street on the west, the alley between 13th and 14th on the east, Albemarle and Highly on the north, and Robidoux on the south, of the present day city:[3] the Hall Street Historic District lies within this area. Col. Hall was one of the 1840's settlers to come to Buchanan County during its early period of formation. He donated 20 acres of land to the subscription drive which attracted the county seat to St. Joseph and was a charter member of the St. Joseph Lodge of the Masonic Order.[4]

The 1859 City Directory quotes the inaugural speech of Mayor M. Jeff Thompson, "I would draw your attention to the widening of Bush Street (7th) and Hall Street."[5] In this same directory, few persons are listed as living in the Hall Street area. By this time, however, both the Original Town and Smith's Addition, which is to the east of the Original Town, and like the Hall Street area rising to the crest of the river bluff, are both teaming with business and residences.[6]

The importance of education to the early settlers is reflected in the growth of both Smith's Addition and the Hall Street area. In 1857, the Order of the Sacred Heart established their convent for the education of young ladies at the corner of 12th and Messanie in Smith's Addition and that area developed rapidly thereafter.[7] In 1865, Dr. Charles Martin established his Young Ladies Institute in a large house at he corner of 5th and Antoine, just one block west of the Hall Street District.[8] The property had earlier been owned by Francois Beauvais, son-in-law of Joseph Robidoux.[9] Families built their homes close to the schools. The convent, located south and east of this district, catered to the education of the daughters of Roman Catholic families established in the Harris Street District; while Dr. Martin's school was attended by the daughters of the wealthy Protestant families. The prestige of Dr. Martin's School is found in this quote from an 1889 history: "The city is well supplied with private schools and academies, the most important of these being the Young Ladies Institute conducted by the Rev. Charles Martin."[10]

While architectural styles vary widely and there are varying degrees of significance there are only two intrusions: 1) a church structure that has been abandoned and 2) a used car lot which has been converted from a cement block store building. The stories of the persons who built the most significant houses or lived in them for long periods of time are short courses in the development of the mercantile trade in the city. The artisans who were involved in the buildings and/or alterations of the houses reflect the calibre of the professional life of the city. Their names are historically important to both the city and the state, and include: Adam Schuster, early Market Square merchant, banker, and entrepreneur; Nathan P. Ogden, banker; Herschel Bartlett, mortgage banker; Henry Groneweg, founder of one of the largest cigar and tobacco companies in the 19th century city; Hilem Ketchum, early day merchant in china and crockery; C.D. Smith, founder of C.D. Smith Drug Co.; and John D. Tootle of Tootle Dry Goods Co. Both of these latter firms were giants of the wholesale trade of the Golden Age of St. Joseph, and are still in business today.

Colonel A.N. Schuster

Colonel A.N. Schuster commissioned E.J. Eckel to build a fine example of a Victorian Italianate mansion in 1881 at 703 Hall Street. The home has several examples of wood craftsmanship and stained glass. Colonel Schuster was one of the representative men of St. Joseph, and the growing West. Although a native of Rheinish Prussia, where he was born on January 1, 1837, and educated in that country, Col. Schuster came to Savannah, Andrew County, Missouri in 1857. He immediately accepted a position in the store of his uncle, Mr. August Schuster. May 1, 1862, he married Miss Lucretia Price, daughter of W.A. Price, a businessman of Savannah. By this marriage they had three daughters, Luada, Florence and Edna. In 1865, he moved to St. Joseph and took charge of the United States Collector's Office as deputy collector, his father-in-law, Mr. Price, being the collector.

From 1869 to 1871, he was United States Collector for what is now two Congressional Districts, embracing twenty-five counties. In 1872, he was elector of the St. Joseph District to the electoral college which had such a stormy discussion over the enfranchising of the so-called rebel element. Col. Schuster advocated enfranchisement which was a decided difference of opinion from the Republican party to which he belonged.

In 1866, he engaged in mercantile business for himself. For the next six years he was very active and enterprising in the retail trade, being connected with four different stores. At the end of that time he started a wholesale company, and in 1872 he went into the wholesale men's clothing business under the firm name of Schuster, Ketcham and Co. Later the firm was Tootle, Schuster and Co., then to A.N. Schuster and Co. In addition he was connected with the bank of Schuster, Hax and Co., was president of four Kansas banks, and was interested in stock raising in Texas and Arizona.

James H. Robison

The home at 631 Hall Street was built by Colonel A.N. Schuster in 1888 for his daughter, Mrs. James W. Hingston. This home adjoined his own property at 703 Hall Street. E.J. Eckel was probably the architect. Business failures caused Col. Schuster to dispose of part of his St. Joseph holdings and in 1890 this home was purchased by James H. Robison. Mr. Robison was president of Robison Heavy Hardware Co. and vice-president of the Merchants Bank.

Nathan P. Ogden

In 1866, Colonel Nathan P. Ogden built an elaborate Chateauesque style home at 809 Hall Street. He had arrived from Weston, Platte County about 25 miles south of the city in 1880. At that time he was involved in building several branch railroad lines in the St. Joseph area in association with James N. Burns.

After arriving in St. Joseph, Colonel Ogden became interested in the banking profession and was one of the organizers of the Bank of St. Joseph, which later became part of the First National Bank. He also organized the Commercial Bank and built a building at 6th and Edmond Streets, later the location of the Empire Trust Company.

Arthur Kirkpatrick

The home at 819 Hall Street was built by Major Samuel Garth, but occupied in the 1880's and 1890's by Arthur Kirkpatrick. His father, Judge W. Kirkpatrick, a native of Tennessee, was a large farmer and stock trader in that state. Mr. Arthur Kirkpatrick was a teacher by profession, but in March, 1863, he moved to St. Joseph, where he engaged in the grain, shipping and general produce business. He subsequently engaged in mercantile business in Utah and Montana. In 1869, he married Miss Lettie J. (Ransom) Poteet of St. Joseph. By this marriage they had two children. In 1873, he engaged in the insurance business and later became the secretary and business manager of the Merchants' Insurance Company of St. Joseph. He became a member of the Board of Managers of the Missouri State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, and a director and manager of the Citizens' Railway Company.

Herschel Bartlett

Mr. Bartlett commissioned Eckel and Mann to build a home at 537 North 8th Street in 1891. A large single window in the stairwell of this home is thought to be of Paul H. Wolff's design, before he established his own business. Mr. Bartlett arrived in St. Joseph in 1862 along with his three brothers. Together they formed the Bartlett Brothers Mortgage Company. They built the firm into the largest farm mortgage business in the area by bringing Eastern capital into the St. Joseph agricultural area.

Edmund Jacques Eckel, F.A.I.A., Architect

Edmund J. Eckel (1854-1934) was a native of Alsace, France and a graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. John Albury Bryan identified him as "the outstanding man in the history of the profession in the western section of the state."[11] Eckel arrived in St. Joseph in 1869, joining the firm of Stigers and Boettner. Lewis Stigers, senior partner of the firm, had designed Patee House (National Historic Landmark). In 1872, Eckel became a partner in the firm. From 1880 to 1891 and 1899 to 1904, he was partners with George R. Mann. Later partners included Walter Boschen, Will S. Aldrich and his son, George R. Eckel. George Eckel had as partners Aldrich and Otto Brunner. The firm exists today, with William Brunner, son of Otto, as the Senior partner. Edmund Eckel was a member of the Western Association of Architects from 1885 to 1889 when that organization merged with the American Institute of Architects. He was made a fellow of the A.I.A. in 1889, the same year he was commissioned to design the McAlister House.[12]

Paul H. Wolff, Art Glass Craftsman

St. Joseph is acknowledged as a city rich with homes large and small which have stunning examples of the art glass craft. In 1975, the Albrecht Art Museum published a study of this phenomena by James Enyart, School of Fine Arts of the University of Kansas, which features photographic studies of some of the most outstanding examples. One of the major practitioners of the craft was Paul H. Wolff. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, he arrived in St. Joseph in 1889 and went to work for the firm of Samuel I. Smith and Co., a firm established in 1873. Samuel Smith was a brother of C.D. Smith, builder of one of the Hall Street homes, and a Market Square merchant for a time. Mr. Wolff created his windows by making drawings and water color designs, then cutting out each piece of glass separately. In 1902, Mr. Wolff established his own business which operated continuously until the 1960's. The mansion at 802 Hall Street has a stairwell window which is probably an outstanding example of Wolff's artistry. The windows are identified as his work in several publications, including Enyart's The Stained Glass Windows of Saint Joseph. Wolff's work is also found in many ecclesiastical installations throughout the county. He was a York and Scottish Rite Mason, a Shriner, a member of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Stained Glass Association of American.[13]

L.S. Stigers

Born in Greene County, Pennsylvania in 1817, Mr. Stigers learned the carpenter's trade in Ohio where he grew up. He came to St. Joseph in 1844, where he commenced business as a builder. He designed and built Patee House for John Patee; designed City Hall, Market House on Market Square, and the A.N. Schuster home at 631 Hall Street. He superintended the construction of the main building at State Asylum No. 2, which is now a St. Joseph City Landmark.

Rev. Charles Martin, M.D.

Born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1812, he studied medicine under his father and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 1836, he entered the Lutheran Ministry. He later came to St. Joseph and started the Young Ladies Institute.

Hilen Ketcham

Mr. Ketcham was a Market Square merchant from before the War between the States until the late 1880's, dealing in queensware and china on the NW corner of 2nd and Felix. He was, for a short while, a partner with Adam Schuster, and was the brother-in-law of Edwin Horton whose 1860 frame home in the Museum Hill area of St. Joseph is currently being restored. His residence was at the corner of 7th and Felix where the German American Bank now stands, until he built the house at 603-605 N. 8th. One daughter married Dr. Charles Wallace; the other married Robert Orr, a partner in C.D. Smith Drug Company.

George Washington Chase

George Washington Chase, builder of the house at 614 North 7th Street, was the founder of the Chase Candy Company. A native of Vermont, he came to St. Joseph in 1877, and joined a firm of fruit merchants and confectioners on Market Square. He became senior partner sometime later and the business was later run by his son, Ernest, and his grandson, Charles. The business was sold by family interest in 1943, but continues in operation to this day under the name of Chase Candy Co., and still produces the famous Cherry Mash candy bar.

Henry Groneweg

Mr. Groneweg, who was a pioneer cigar and tobacco merchant in St. Joseph, was born in 1821 in Hanover, Germany. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1848 and arrived in St. Joseph in 1852. Organized in 1853, his business was known as the Henry Groneweg Cigar and Tobacco Co., and later it became the St. Joseph Tobacco Co., which is still in existence, but is no longer a manufacturing firm. The cigar manufacturing business was an important one in the latter half of the 19th and early part of the 20th century in St. Joseph, and was primarily operated by persons of German extraction. Mr. Groneweg purchased the home at 518 North 7th Street between 1909 and 1912 and lived there until his death.

C.D. Smith

Born in Pennsylvania in 1835, he relocated in St. Joseph in 1859. He was associated with James McCord and Abram Nave in the wholesale grocery business until fire destroyed the business in 1886. The next year, he opened a wholesale drug company which became one of the giants of the wholesale era of St. Joseph history. Smith married a daughter of John Calhoun, a banker, and they had three children. Mr. Smith died in 1888, a very wealthy capitalist who supported many new businesses and ventures in the developmental period of St. Joseph. He built the house at 718 N. 7th Street.

The survey of Missouri's historic sites is based on the selection of sites as they relate to theme studies in Missouri's history as outlined in "Missouri's State Historic Preservation Plan." Hall Street Historic District, therefore, is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as an example of the themes of "Architecture" and "Commerce."


City Records in the City Clerk's Office, City Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri. Dates of plats are: Henry's Addition, February 24, 1855; Ege's First Addition, May 1, 1858; County Addition, May 24, 1873; and Ege's Addition, December 12, 1973.

Abstracts in the possession of Miss Linda Farber, 703 Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri.

Plat map in the office of the Buchanan County Assessor, County Court House, St. Joseph, Missouri.

Birdsall, Williams & Co., ed, History of Buchanan County, Missouri. (St. Joseph: St. Joseph Steam Printing Co., 1881) pp.138,193.

H. Fotheringham, Comp., St. Joseph City Directory of 1859-60. (St. Joseph: J .A. Millan's Ben Franklin Book and Job Printing Establishment, 1859) p.61.

Ibid., pp.9-201.

Birdsall, Williams & Co., op.cit. p.365-367.

E.L. McDonald and W.J. King, Comp., History of Buchanan County and St. Joseph, MO. (St. Joseph: History publishing Co., 1915) p.148.

H. Fotheringham, comp., op.cit. p.11.

Historical and Descriptive Review of Saint Joseph, Missouri. (New York : John Letham, 1889) pp. 21, 24.

John Albury Bryan, Missouri's Contribution to American Architecture. (St. Louis.: St. Louis Architectural Club, 1928) p.50.

Abstract of lots 1 and 2, Block 15, Harris Addition (op.cit.).

St. Joseph News Press. (News Press Publishing Co., St. Joseph) March 27, 1960, p.7a.

Abstracts, In the possession of Miss Linda Farber, 703 Hall, St. Joseph, MO.

Albrecht Art Museum. The Architecture of Saint Joseph. St. Joseph: Albrecht Art Museum, 1974.

Albrecht Art Museum. The Stained Glass Windows of Saint Joseph. St. Joseph: Albrecht Art Museum, 1976.

Atlas of Buchanan County: WPA Edition, located in the Engineering Department City Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri.

Birdsall, Williams and Co., ed. History of Buchanan County, Missouri. St. Joseph: St. Joseph Steam Printing Co., 1881.

Bryan, John Albury. Missouri Is Contribution to American Architecture. St. Louis: St. Louis Architectural Club , 1928.

Building Permits. Board of Public Work. City of St. Joseph. City Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri.

"Chateau Houses of the Missouri River": by John Huffman, Kansas City Star.

City Records in the City Clerk's Office, City Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri.

Courthouse Real Estate Records: Buchanan County Courthouse, Assessor's Office, St. Joseph, Missouri.

H. Fotheringham, comp., St. Joseph City Directory for 1859-60. St. Joseph: J.A. Millan's Ben Franklin Book and Job Printing Establishment, 1859.

Historic Preservation Inventory: St. Joseph, Missouri: Johnson, Johnson and Roy, Ann Arbor, Michigan, July, 1972.

Historical and Descriptive Review of Saint Joseph, Mo. New York: John Letham, 1889.

Hoyes City Directory of St. Joseph. St. Joseph: Hoyes City Directory Co., 1887-1897.

Hoyes 6th Annual City Directory. St. Joseph: St. Joseph Steam Printing Co., 1882.

Insurance Map of St. Joseph, Missouri (North): Sanborn Map Co.

McDonald, E.L. and King, W.L. History of Buchanan County and St. Joseph, Missouri. St. Joseph: History Publishing Co., 1915.

On Site Observations by Thomas W. Carneal.

Personal Correspondence between Sheridan Logan and Nancy Sandehn. Oct. 3, 1972 and July 20, 1976. In Nancy Sandehn's possession.

Plat Book of Missouri Counties: Tracy and Rutt, St. Joseph, Missouri, 1895.

Plat Book of Missouri Counties: W.W. Hixson and Co., Rockport, Illinois, printed prior to 1895.

Plat map in the office of the Buchanan County Assessor, County Court House, St. Joseph, Missouri.

Polk, R.L. St. Joseph City Directory. St. Joseph: R.L. Polk and Co. 1909-1916.

  1. Carneal, Thomas W., Northwest Missouri State University, Hall Street Historic District, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
7th Street North • 8th Street North • Hall Street