A beautifully preserved masterpiece in St. Louis

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair…the song about the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri that celebrated the centenary of the Louisiana Purchase has kept it alive in our memories. Now the Nabisco Palace, another piece from that history, is up for sale.

Although it is called the Nabisco Palace, its owner never worked or had an interest in that company. Louis Dozier was a prominent local baker who sold his soda cracking business to the National Biscuit Company, which later became Nabisco. After his retirement, he became active in philanthropy and supporting the arts.

In 1896 Dozier engaged John Ludwig Weiss, a local artist who had studied drafting and partnered with an older architect. Although he never became an official architect, he is credited with designing a number of buildings in St. Louis and Paris, Texas. For Dozier, Wees designed a 12,000-square-foot mansion in the modern Beaux-Arts style. The house is in the still desirable neighborhood of Westmoreland Place, and the location of the house was perfect: across from Forest Park, the site of the upcoming fair. Dozier, who was a member of the show’s steering committee, planned his house around the event. The second and third floors are allocated to 11 bedrooms to accommodate the expected influx of guests. The basement was a medieval-style ballroom and a 2,000-square-foot ballroom for entertainment. Among the many visitors who came here was silent film star Rudolph Valentino, who had his own key.

“This is a wonderful home in a very desirable neighborhood,” says listing broker Sam Hall of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty. “It is one of the rare and untouched neighborhoods of the late nineteenth centuryThe tenth and early 20The tenth Century homes. And it has personality! There’s a saying in the West End, where this home is located, that “Characters are welcome.”

Fortunately for prospective conservation owners and lovers of historic architecture, the home’s original elements are largely intact. The reception foyer centers on a carved fireplace with an onyx surround, and a carved walnut staircase leads to a gallery of musicians upon landing. The master rooms feature 12-foot ceilings that open into one another for large gatherings. Ornate moldings and carved crowns collaborate richly with the ornate ceilings. Stained glass turns ordinary bathroom windows into stunning works of art that coordinate with tiles. The original sconces, made of gas and electric, are still on the walls.

The current owners, who purchased the house in 1996, upgraded the mechanical systems, installed new HVAC systems, replaced the roof, renovated the lower hall and created a new three-room kitchen. They updated nicely, but largely kept the old bathrooms and built a new 4 car garage, rooftop and pergola. Artistically and skilled, they painted period-appropriate wall murals and made fringed silk lampshades for the salon lighting fixtures.

The Nabisco Mansion also features seven and a half full bathrooms, a breakfast bar, a deck, large wardrobes, hardwood floors, marble countertops, a private elevator, an artist’s studio, an outdoor pool, several fireplaces, a wet bar, butler’s pantry, and a beautiful garden surrounds the house. .

The Beaux-Arts style, also known as Classical Beaux-Arts, was a favorite with Americans from about 1880 to 1930. Grandiose and floral, with an abundance of detail and a variety of stone finishes, was particularly popular for public buildings such as courts, libraries, museums, and railway stations. Private houses in the Beaux-Arts style indicate wealth and the heyday of fashion. At Nabisco Palace, concrete, bricks, mud and some carved limestone give the illusion of a house built entirely of stone.

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