It was a warm and sunny afternoon, so I went for a walk through the nearby neighborhood of Overland. I was following a route suggested by Robert Rubright in his book Weekend Walks in St. Louis and Beyond, a route that piqued my curiosity as I had not hitherto regarded Overland as in any way an interesting suburb.
And on the surface there didn't seem to be that much to interest me. The dominant architecture is the ranch-style single story home, usually with a flag flying and couple of large dogs in a steel fenced yard. Nothing very extraordinary.
So when I across this rather splendid Tudor-style mansion rising above its surrounds on the aptly named Chaucer Avenue, it was a very pleasant surprise.
Walking further up on Thorpe Avenue revealed again rather more interesting architecture, such as this very typical but still charming brick home.
The road dipped and rose at this point, and the light from the sinking sun became quite entrancing as it played across the bare trees. I took a detour onto Poe Ave., and was astonished to find this Frank Lloyd Wright home, flanked, again, by the ubiquitous ranch homes.
Not perhaps the most exciting Frank Lloyd Wright (see comment for more info) you could find, but still very beautiful in its simplicity. Why the neighboring homes could not have shared a little of its grace I found hard to understand, but I guess unexciting cookie-cutter homes have been perennially popular – perhaps because they are cheap to build and to sell!
Retracing my steps on Poe Ave. took me back to Thorpe and then north onto Krem where another rather grand, if again more typical of St. Louis than the Wright home, mansion stood overlooking Mort Jacobs Park.
A beautiful setting, indeed.
It was starting to get cold, so I decided to head back to my car, parked over on the other side of Midland Avenue in Wild Acres Park. I took a detour down Shakespeare Ave – a most literary neighborhood this one – and caught this sight of the sun full on the side of another Tudor-style building.
I came away with quite a different impression of Overland than I had going into it. A very satisfying afternoon out indeed.