As we enjoy the more than 1,000 historic buildings that make up Soulard, it is easy to forget about how many more houses there used to be, since lost. The 1800 block of South 7th Street is a good such illustration. In that block, only three of the houses that stood in 1875 still stand today.
The two rowhouses at 1823 and 1825 South 7th St. were originally part of a row of six, as you can see from this detail of Plate No. 5 from Compton and Dry’s Picto- rial St Louis 1875 (note the double arrows). The other four rowhouses were razed more than a half-century ago, to make space for a gas station at 7th and Geyer. Today, the Subway Sandwich Shop (and its parking lot) occupies that same land.
Up the block, 1809-11 S. 7th also survives (see the single arrow); you might recognize this building today as the longtime location of the Soulard Barber Shop. All three of these survivors were built in the 1860s, in vernacular Federal style.
Note the vacant lot in the center of the drawing, just to the right of the double ar- rows. That lot was then vacant because it reportedly contained a small, derelict cemetery. The graves were relocated at some point, such was the demand for buildable property. There is a late 19th-century mansard-roofed multifamily building on that site now. As you look around Soulard, think of the overlapping layers of human history captured in the buildings that stand before you.