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!

2 thoughts on “Campbell Kids » The Campbell House Architects

Comments are closed.