THE LAST HOUSE
“This is the last house.” said Karen Bode Baxter, JEMA’s historic preservationist consultant.
At first, it didn’t click. But after she explained, we realized, the “Twin Daughter’s Building” is indeed the Last House.
The area now know as Midtown or Midtown Alley is a National Historic District and for many decades was a thriving residential neighborhood directly adjacent to downtown St. Louis. From the early 1800’s up to the 1920’s, this area was home to the majority of St. Louisans. The area was a dense urban environment with an incredibly rich variety of residential buildings and houses connected by an expanding street car system that initially ran along dirt roads.
By the 1930’s, Midtown was almost entirely re-developed as commercial enterprises expanded westward from downtown. Nearly all of the houses from an earlier era were demolished and replaced with new businesses.
Now, there is only one remaining house from this bygone era: the “Twin Daughter’s Building” at 2823 Olive Street. It was constructed in 1874 by a father for his twin daughters. The 6,500 sq. ft. structure is being transformed into JEMA’s new office. Design work has begun and construction is slated to be complete by January 2019.