Photo Flood 56: Vandeventer
Photo by @dave_adams_images
By the 1870’s St. Louis’ elite had begun to move on from the city’s oldest signature mansion district, Lucas Place (in Downtown West). This was due to a variety of factors, including flight to the far reaches of the city in places like Lafayette Square, where the coal pollution was not yet so severe, or eventually to more fashionable areas like the Central West End, which offered newer homes with more exclusivity. Of course, this sought after exclusivity was not just from lower classes, but also from other races (the nature of slavery in St. Louis was such that slaves often lived in neighborhoods adjoining those where their masters lived or where they were forced to labor; for Lucas Place, the African-American neighborhood of Mill Creek Valley was just to its south). Into this atmosphere came Peter Vandeventer, a wealthy, Wall Street financier who sought to invest his fortune in St. Louis, where he saw an opportunity to capitalize on the city’s Industrialists’ preference for luxurious private places.
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