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Hall Street Historic District

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Address: Hall Street, between 6th and 9th streets, Saint Joseph, MO 64501
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Hall Street, placed on the National Historic Register in 1979, is home to...

Hall Street, placed on the National Historic Register in 1979, is home to an incomparable inventory of magnificent mansions. Known locally as "mansion row" or "millionaire's row," Hall Street housed some of the wealthiest residents of Old Saint Jo, a town that boasted the highest per-capita income in the United States during the Victorian gilded age. It's not hard to imagine the horse-drawn carriages and splendid social events that graced this street in its heyday.Today, Hall Street is enjoying an amazing renaissance, as the ravages of time are reversed by a few enterprising owners. Take, for example, the stately Richardson Romanesque designed by architect Harvey Ellis at 802 Hall Street, built in 1890 for the influential Tootle family. A storybook castle, indeed, complete with turrets and towers, wrought-iron balconies, and gracious landscaped grounds. Recently under extensive renovation by a private owner, this jewel is being polished to shine again.Across the street is the chateauesque beauty known as the Shakespeare Chateau, recently re-opened as a Bed-and-Breakfast, tour home, and event venue. This amazing home, built in 1885 and designed by architects Eckel and Mann, contains the most lavish and elegant interior - all original - you're likely to behold. It includes more than 45 artisan-crafted stained-glass windows, each one original to the building and each one a phenomenon of brilliance and design. This home is open for tours by appointment, and is well worth a visit. See pictures and more information at the Shakespeare Chateau website.And then there’s the Schuster Mansion at 702 Hall Street, built in 1879, and presently in private ownership. It’s the largest of the grand mansions in the Hall Street District at over 12,000 square feet sitting on a generous 2.5 acres of land. The imposing Italianate façade is complemented by extensive ironwork roof ornamentation, and within the 3-1/2 storey mansion you’ll find frescoed plaster ceilings, expansive mosaic tile and parquet floors, a griffon-adorned mantelpiece, and original woodwork and lighting throughout. Mr. Schuster was hardly finished building his impressive home when, a few years later, his daughter was betrothed. He set about building a second home next door, now known as the “Schuster Daughter” mansion at 631 Hall Street, finished in 1889. This exceptional building has ornate roof ornamentation and a complexly detailed exterior. The (mostly) original interior is quite fabulous, featuring an encaustic tile mosaic floor in the foyer, beautiful woodwork and floors, and a fine collection of remarkable stained glass. This magnificent home is presently available on the real-estate market, awaiting a new owner.The Hosea House at 801 Hall Street is reputed to be the oldest house on Hall Street. Much of its original character was lost to a 1990s renovation, but this wonderful single-family home now contains all of the modern amenities and is set on a spacious well-kept lot that includes garage/workshop space at the back.The gracious C.D. Smith house at 718 N. 7th on the corner of 7th Street and Hall is an Italianate mansion set on beautifully landscaped grounds. A private home for more than 15 years, it has been extensively renovated inside to accommodate all the modern amenities. A lovely wrap-around porch invites summertime outdoor living and is the perfect backdrop for holiday decorating.These notes are limited to the mansions along Hall Street itself, but the Hall Street Historic District includes a number of other homes along 7th and 8th Streets. For information on other homes in the District, and for more historical detail and notes see the LivingPlaces website and look under Buchanan County Missouri, Saint Joseph City.The descriptions on this website include the following note related to the significance of Hall Street:”The Hall Street Historic District is significant for its concentration of imposing residential buildings which are excellent examples of Post Civil War 19th century and early 20th century architectural styles including Italianate, Second Empire, Chateauesque, Romanesque, Revival, Queen Anne, Neo-classical Revival and eclectic. These homes have additional significance as the residences of the "Merchant Princes" of St. Joseph's Golden Age. Located just to the south and east of the Hall Street Historic District stood the Market Square Historic District, its commercial counterpart. New prosperity flourished in the 1870's, 1880's and the 1890's; the great wholesale houses and associated banks supported the families that built and/or lived in the fine homes of Hall Street Historic District. With much of the Market Square area destroyed by Urban Renewal projects, the significance of this area increases as it serves as a reminder of the late 19th century wealth and culture of the city. During the first quarter of the 20th century, large homes continued to be built which created a greater density and cohesive quality to the neighborhood. Recognizing the significance of an area which reflects both commercial and cultural wealth, the structures of this prestigious area are now afforded protection under a city ordinance designating it as the St. Joseph Historic District Number One.”

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Mansion row

We found this hill of mansions after getting some advice from the Pony Express Museum. Two police officers happened to be on the street when we got there and they gave us some... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed February 14, 2017
producerkoof
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California
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20 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 20: English reviews
California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2017

We found this hill of mansions after getting some advice from the Pony Express Museum. Two police officers happened to be on the street when we got there and they gave us some good information about the houses. They took photos for us and then gave us restaurant recommendations. The houses were neat to look at, but we did not... More 

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1 Thank producerkoof
Independence, Missouri
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2016

Take the drive. Most of the homes are occupied but some aren't. It is still very impressive to see what St. Joseph looked like in her Hey Day.

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1 Thank Helen C
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2016

It was fabulous! Finally, some of St. Joe's grandest home were open. About 20 of us drove up from Kansas City & loved every minute of it.

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2 Thank jbentleyinkc
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2016

What a joy to see these beautiful homes coming to life again! So nice to travel back in time and have it historically accurate!

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Thank Elizabeth H
Smithville, Missouri
Level Contributor
157 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2016

The houses on Hall st. are beautiful, but there's only a few of them. I was surprised it is such a small area.

Helpful?
Thank Donna Q
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting Hall Street, Donna. The Hall Street Historic District actually takes in a larger area than Hall Street alone, including sections of North 7th and North 8th Streets where a number of wonderful mansions are located. I hope you'll have time on your next visit to explore more areas of St. Joseph. More 

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
96 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2016

We decided to go look at this area bc my husband loves old architecture (comes from 15 yrs of being an architect). So what they have done is taken about 5 really cool houses and put it as a historic district. The one way streets are a pain to maneuver in order to see them and there really was only... More 

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Thank jespence60
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review

The Hall Street Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is also named as St. Joseph's number one landmark historic district. This historic residential District is home to a significant collection of gilded-age architecture - chateauesque, Queen Anne, Italianate, Richardsonian Romanesque - as well as several antebellum homes. St. Joseph's historic neighborhoods and downtown contain... More 

New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4,895 reviews
2,468 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 635 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2016 via mobile

So nice to see some of these huge historic homes. There certainly was some money on this city. Just beautiful.

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Thank Bernardo F
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting, Bernardo. You are absolutely correct - St. Joseph was an extremely wealthy, flourishing center of society and commerce during the gilded age. So much so that for a number of years, St. Joseph Missouri had the highest per-capita income of anywhere in the United States! More 

Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
362 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2015

Like the Museum Hill District, the Hall Street District features a number of nicely preserved examples of Victorian Style architecture. Be sure to visit both areas - they are near each other.

Helpful?
Thank williame975
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review

The Hall Street Historic District includes some of the finest examples of lavish Victorian architecture in the United States. Prominent architects like Harvey Ellis and E.J. Eckel designed these mansion homes. Although some are in good repair, others need attention. Preserving these buildings is preserving a piece of American history! Thank you for visiting, and thank you for sharing your... More 

Olathe, Kansas
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2015

We stopped by these blocks and took some pictures of mansions in various states of repair (or disrepair).

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1 Thank Pat A
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting the Hall Street Historic District, and for taking time to post a review on TripAdvisor. As you rightly point out, the magnificent mansions of Hall Street are in various stages of restoration completion. But progress continues, and three of the six are under very active restoration and rehabilitation. For more information on which houses might be available... More 

Prairie Village, Kansas
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2015

St. Joseph Mo is a great place to explore, pretty houses and great museums. Loved the Glore Museum and the Patee House museum.

Helpful?
Thank Jim C
Isobel M, Public Relations Manager at Hall Street Historic District, responded to this review

St. Joseph is home to an unbelievable wealth of Victorian-era architecture - residential, commercial, and ecclesiastic. When you visit, be sure to drive up to the Hall Street Historic District - also known as Mansion Row - to see some of the most spectacular gilded-age mansions. More 

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