Tag Archives: Joseph C. Edgar

Campbell Kids » The Campbell House Architects

Our house. A very very very fine house.

» THE SETUP

For years, we didn’t know who the architect of Campbell House was. It was assumed that the developer used stock architectural plans, or William Fulton — an architect who designed buildings for James Lucas — was responsible for the design. Now we know who the architect (in this case, architects) really is.

While digging through the St. Louis County Circuit Court Records at the Missouri State Archive, we found a mechanic’s lien for our property, dated July 14, 1851. On the lien, the architects are listed along with their fees. The image is below, but here’s a transcription:

[From] Messrs. Donaldson & Hall
To Edgar & Walsh
1851 July 14
To sketch ground plans & front elevation
for two houses proposed to be erected in Lucas Place…..$5.00
To drawings for two houses designed to
be erected in Bremin [sic] & viewing grounds of same…..$15.00
To plans and full inspections for two three story
houses with finished basements, stables, etc.
complete for Lucas Place including detail or
backing drawings………………………………………………..$25.00
To alterations in same substituting plane
for ornamental fronts, and making same
three story without basement finish …………………………$5.00
[Total] $50.00
Rec’d Payments

[Note: The document references two houses. This is correct;  Edgar and Walsh were hired to design 20 Lucas Place (Campbell House) and the house next door at 22 Lucas Place.]

The mechanic's lien.

The architects — Joseph C. Edgar and Thomas Waryng Walsh — worked together for three years, between 1850 and 1853. During this period they completed five public buildings including Disciples of Christ Christian Church on Fifth Street [demolished], Old St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Cape Girardeau, and the Kirkwood Hotel [lost to fire in 1867].

The Old Courthouse was built in the Greek Revival style in 1839, twelve years before Campbell House.

What did Edgar and Walsh build for us? A conventional townhouse in the Greek Revival style, a look that was popular in New York and Philadelphia in the 1850s. Three-stories with a two-story flounder (rear wing of the house, usually considered the “working area” or a space for servants), Campbell House has a full basement, seven levels on five floors and approximately 11,000 square feet of space. (That’s a lot….the average American home is 2,700 square feet.)

Since the Campbells lived here for 84 years, they changed a few things. They added a large kitchen on the back of the house. They enclosed a side porch to make the Morning Room (a small sitting room). In 1867 they added a floor on top of the two-story flounder to create three more rooms.

The Eugene Field House was the second-to-last house in Walsh's Row of twelve attached homes. Note the placement of the building right next to the sidewalk with no room for a front yard. The Eugene Field House was saved from the wrecking ball when the other eleven homes were demolished in 1934.

Campbell House and the rest of the houses on Lucas Place were significant because the design of the houses and they way they were arranged on their lots were different than anything else St. Louis had seen. Prior to Lucas Place, most homes in St. Louis were attached, row-style and were built right on the sidewalk with no front yards, very much like the Eugene Field House. Campbell House has a front yard and, even though it was built in a townhouse style, it was four feet away from its next door neighbor. (The Campbells had an empty lot on the other side.)

» ACTIVITY: MY HOUSE
Suitable for grades K-5

We live in all sorts of different buildings. Some of us live in a house, others live in an apartment and some kids even live on wheels! Today, let’s pretend we’re architects and draw our own houses with elevations and floor plans. An elevation is a drawing of one side of your house, like this:

Front, rear and cutaway elevations of Campbell House.

Floorplans are a map of the rooms of your house, like this:

Floor plans of the first (top) and second (bottom) floors of Campbell House.

To get you started, click here to download and print a blank floor plan, then click here to download and print a blank elevation plan.

First, draw the floor plan of your house, using the blank plans you just printed and colored pencils, markers or crayons. Be sure to label each room: kitchen, living room, bathroom, your bedroom, and any other rooms you have. If you have a second (or third!) floor in your house, draw a separate floor plan for each floor. Not all rooms are perfectly square or rectangular, so draw the rooms true to their shape. It may help if you sit in the middle of each room and can see how all the walls come together. Make sure you include doorways and windows!

When you finish your floor plan, use the printout of the elevation plan to draw an elevation of the front of your house, complete with doors, windows, steps and any decorations that may be on the front of it. Is there a garage attached to your house? Is your house made of brick or wood or stucco? Include as many details as you can that make your house special.

After you’re done with your elevation and floor plans, have show and tell with your friends to explain the rooms of your house and what you like best about each one. When talking about the elevation, be sure to tell your classmates what makes your house unique and different from all the other houses or buildings on your street.

If you want to share what you did, email files over to shelley [at] campbellhousemuseum.org, and we’ll share your drawings on our blog! We hope you enjoy making drawings of your house, and be sure to check back in two weeks for another fun activity!

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Monday Update » 3.26.12

Executive Director Andy Hahn with his unusually shy Leo before our urban exploring field trip to the St. Louis Transit Company Substation on Locust this morning.

Happy Monday, everyone!

We had a busy weekend, due in part to the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight madness happening at the Dome. While our weekend manager takes a well-deserved break, here are some newsy bits and a few things we’ve got cooking over the next two weeks:

Campbell House Architects Featured
Campbell House research volunteer Tom Gronski’s article on the Campbell House architects (Joseph C. Edgar and Thomas Waryng Walsh) earned top-billing in the Missouri Valley Chapter of Architectural Historian’s newsletter. Read all about it (and some other beautiful local buildings) here.  Way to go, Tom!

Field Trip to the St. Louis Transit Company Substation
A long-vacant building up Locust was built to house a big, giant battery system for streetcars. It was constructed right before the 1904 World’s Fair because the city anticipated substantially more streetcar traffic due to the influx of visitors. We’ll have a post about our visit to the old building complete with pictures for you next week.

New Civil War Exhibit
Lindsey’s plugging away on research, writing, and finding objects for her new exhibit on the Campbells during the Civil War. Sharing new research on Robert’s political leanings, slavery, and the impact of the war on the family and their friends, the exhibit will open in the third floor galleries in early April. You won’t want to miss it!

A Few Good Interns
We have more intern interviews booked, but we’d love to hear from you or someone you know needs a summer internship. We’re not picky about your course of study because it takes all kinds to operate a museum. Nonprofit Management? Museum Studies? PR/Marketing? History? Art? Come talk to us. Campbell House is a small place, so everyone — staff, volunteers and interns — wear many hats. You’ll get to see all sides of how we run the business, and we promise you’ll have an awesome experience here. Contact Executive Director Andy Hahn at andy [at] campbellhousemuseum [dot] org if you want to talk; we’d love to hear from you!

Upcoming Events
We’re working on putting together two spectacular events that you won’t want to miss. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll again be hosting the Magical Spring Thing at the Mahler Ballroom, which will feature St. Louis Ballet, Union Avenue Opera, the St. Louis Ragtimers, the Ballroom Academy of St. Louis. It’s going to be an unforgettable evening, so click here for more information. On Mother’s Day (May 13th), we’re pleased to partner with Union Avenue Opera to bring you (and your mom!) Arias in the Afternoon: A Victorian Garden Party. While you enjoy scones, tarts and tea from the London Tea Room, Union Avenue Opera artists will serenade you with a special Mother’s Day program. For details, read all about it here.

50-cent piece appearances last week: 0

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